|The drones will be used for accident reconstruction and search and rescue missions / Photo Credit: Andy Dean Photography (via Shutterstock)|
The Vermont State Police Department demonstrated two of their new drones this week, according to Pat Bradley of WAMC Northeast Public Radio, a radio network in New York. Vermont purchased 11 drones, which would be used in accident reconstruction and search and rescue operations.
As Trooper Thomas Howard prepared to launch one of the smaller drones into the air, he said, “So the first thing that I’m going to do is now that everything’s set up the controller’s talking to the aircraft I’m going to go ahead and turn the props on.” Then, he made sure that the drone would operate safely. Trooper Howard added, “We want to make sure that it’s doing exactly what we want it to do so.”
After the pre-flight check, he demonstrated what would happen during an accident reconstruction mission. Trooper Howard created a mock collision scene for the police department. They hit start. He explained, “All green check marks is a good sign and we’ll go ahead and start the mission.” Trooper Howard observed that the drone knew where it would take photographs. The drone also showed how many photos it took as well as its location.
Emergency Services Unit Sgt. Matthew Sweitzer tested the larger drone, explaining its capabilities and how it can be utilized in various missions. Sweitzer stated, “So we can communicate one way with people and let them know that we see them. But then it also has a thermal mode.” This feature would be beneficial if someone got lost in the woods.
Meanwhile, UAS Program Commander Lt. Cory Lozier said the drones would also be used to “get overall views of crime scenes.” Still, drones are useful in viewing scenes in different angles and elevations, significantly reducing time on scene. Lozier acknowledged policies and guidelines regarding privacy. He reassured that even if the drones could be used for criminal investigation or surveillance, it would never be used for warrantless searches.