• Cydney Thompson, Northeast Arkansas News

Jonesboro Police Department launch Drone program

JONESBORO,AR-The Jonesboro Police Department has a new program using drones.

Technology has become a big help for the Jonesboro police from Skycops and now with 5 drones.

“It was a new challenge, but the FAA has been great with it and truthfully their just kind of fun to fly,” Jonesboro Police Department, Captain Todd Nelson said.

Drones have been used in law enforcement for some time. JPD purchased 5 drones; 2 are used to help with search and rescue, 2 for inside use and the last one for department operations.

The main goals are safety, privacy and accountability.

“So, it’s very defined on how we’ll use them. It’ll be for search and rescue for a high-risk situation where it gives our officers better situation awareness,” Captain Nelson said.

Training was complete with the FAA; all the pilots received a part one certification.

They have also gotten a waiver to use for the City of Jonesboro.

Nelson says they have used the drones for several crime scene already.

“Jonesboro being smaller in size didn’t have access to that type of equipment. It’s not a complete substitute for what a helicopter could do, but it definitely gives us an aerial capability to get up in the air to see if from a different perspective,” Captain Nelson said.

The department plans to add more aircrafts and pilots in the future.

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