Sherriff’s office from Marin County has released a detailed report about their drone usage in the first few months on its website. The office staff got their hands on the drones last year, and as some of the advocates raised some concerns about these drones usage, Sherriff’s office released the report where they have clearly mentioned how and in what situations the drones are used.
The office has six drones and eight operators which helped in surveilling the armed suspects and in many more tasks. Robert Doyle, the Sherriff of Marin County has said that they are planning on releasing quarterly reports of the drone usage. All the operators who are working with drones received 40 hours of minimum training and are certified by the FAA. The report covered the first quarter details of 2019 where the drone used in seven missions.
Out of the seven missions, four cases had armed men in it. On Jan 12 in Novato, an arson suspect has blocked the gas stations with his cars in Hamilton area. The suspect previously made an attempt to ignite a fire in one gas station area and also had a rifle in his car. The officers were in negotiation with the suspect, and on the other, the drone was used to keep an eye on the suspect and his behavior.
On Feb 6, a suspect locked himself in a home, and the officers used drones in order to maintain a safer cover. Eventually, the suspect surrendered and he had an assault weapon with him.
On March 2, a husband tried to shoot his wife and fled into the neighborhood. The drone helped in locating the suspect in a neighbor’s residence.
On March 13, a suicidal person armed with a shotgun was located with the help of drone in a wooded area.
This way the drones have helped the office in several situations, and they have failed at times too. Either way, the Sherriff office maintained complete transparency in the report.