Oklahoma's Broken Arrow Police seeing immediate benefits using new UAS

 

In Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, the Broken Arrow Police Department says that its new UAS has proved beneficial in a variety of use cases over the last two months.

The UAS provides a real-time view from above, which officers say is very important when their special operations team is activated.

One recent use case for the UAS came a few weeks ago, when the UAS was deployed during a standoff. Via News on 6, officer James Koch says that “the initial information that we received was that there may be someone inside who could have someone held hostage.” Koch goes on to say that “we didn't know if there was anybody inside that was lying in wait.”

Unfortunately, in this scenario, what started off as a welfare check later turned into a murder-suicide investigation, after Broken Arrow police found two bodies along with a small pistol. The UAS proved helpful in this situation, though, and ultimately kept officers safe.

“The deployment of the UAS assisted us in getting closer without putting officers in danger,” Koch says.

The UAS has also proved helpful when searching for a suspect, as a few weeks ago, a woman saw people breaking into her car in a parking lot. According to officers, the two suspects were jumping fences, running through a nearby neighborhood.

“With officers not on the ground right there, in that moment, the help or the use of the UAS would give us an aerial view,” Koch says.

Besides investigating crimes taking place in real-time, the UAS is also helpful in another aspect, as recorded UAS footage is helping investigators reconstruct deadly crash scenes. Koch says that the UAS is useful at crash scenes for “mapping, showing where the vehicle was, [and] showing skid marks.”

For Koch, this technology is validating what he and others already knew.

“I think we all knew it, but we never actually realized how important it is to have eyes where, in real time, you couldn't before,” Koch says.