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Great Falls Police Department drone program takes flight (video)

Posted at 6:29 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 20:29:39-04

The Great Falls Police Department is utilizing a drone to assist in crime scene documentation, and search and rescue efforts.

GFPD drone pilot Sgt. Rob Beall says the drone is another tool to help save lives, and get citizens and officers resources quickly.

The drone program took off in the fall of 2017.  The Great Falls Police Community Foundation raised the money and paid for the $15,000 DJI Matrice 200 drone, along with a lower-cost backup and training drone.

The DJI Matrice 200 uses a 4K camera, and also has the ability to see heat signatures at night.

The drone has been used on 17 missions so far.

Sgt. Beall explained, “We’re not out enforcing traffic laws, we’re not out patrolling and arbitrarily flying it around and looking at things.  That’s not what we do.  It’s not how we want to police in our community. So we use it as a measure and means for saving lives and for crime scene documentation.”

We will have more details about the drone program on KRTV newscasts and online on Sunday, September 16th.