POLICE Magazine

APR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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P O L I C E M AG .C O M 51 criminals, support victims, and ulti- mately save lives. CASE STUDY In October 2018 as part of the San Di- ego Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP), the Chula Vista Police Department and Cape launched the nation's first Drone as a First Responder program, integrat- ing drones equipped with Cape Aeri- al Telepresence technology into daily emergency response operations. Traditionally, teams leveraged drones in much more limited and one- off situations—where designated drone officers drive a car to the location, launch and navigate a single drone re- laying information via phone or radio to the responding teams or commanding officers. Today, the Chula Vista PD and Cape are pioneering a totally new ap- proach and unlocking the full potential of drones for public safety agencies with their Drone as a First Responder pro- gram proactively leveraging Cape-en- abled drones as true first responders for emergency situations. Since the debut of the Drone as a First Responder program (DFR), drones equipped with the Cape Aerial Telep- resence platform have been dispatched to high-priority calls in close proximity to the CVPD's headquarters, which is one of the heaviest call zones in the city. After launching the drone from the roof of police headquarters to the scene, the designated pilot in the command center can control and manipulate the drone in order to gain the exact visibility need- ed. With the drone typically arriving on the scene well before responding offi- cers, the command center can better identify and dispatch needed resources to the scene. Responding officers can also view the live stream en route to the scene, giving them full visibility of the situation they are walking into. For CVPD, the drones have been crit- ical to increasing situational awareness, the safety of officers, and the safety of the surrounding community. In just five months of active drone deployment, CVPD has integrated the drones into daily emergency response operations, and has flown 322 flights to date. e drone has contributed to 44 arrests. As a testament to Cape's and CVPD's success with the DFR program, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the first public safety Cer- tificate of Authorization (COA) with Be- yond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) pro- vision for an Integrated Pilot Program that will allow for proactive emergency response. e provision promises to drastically increase the level of success in Chula Vista, and lay the groundwork for future drone integration into public safety operation. Chris Rittler is CEO of Cape.

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