Wisconsin's Madison Police Department touts success of new UAS team



The Madison Police Department (MPD) in Madison, Wisconsin is touting the success of its new UAS team, after the technology was used to effectively tighten the search area for a missing Madison nursing home patient.

By surveying land from an aerial position, a search that would have potentially taken hours on foot was reduced to a 20-minute operation for officers.

“We want to assist as often as we can as one more tool in the field for officers and supervisors to use,” says commander of the UAS team Lieutenant Mike Hanson, via the Badger Herald. “Either with documenting crime scenes, assisting with lost children, missing adults and criminals who are fleeing from us.”

​Hanson adds that the MPD can also use the technology for other tasks, such as for surveying large crowd situations for public safety.

The MPD's 11-person UAS squad launched on June 1 of last year. After its launch, the UAS unit was called in more than 20 times during the second half of 2017, according to Hanson. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for the department to get eyes in the sky, as team members get the UAS airborne and operational in just three to four minutes after arriving on the scene.

One member of the UAS team is Officer Mike Love, who compiled 7,000 hours of aircraft piloting time over the past 40 years. At the age of 57, Love went through the police academy, and he later applied to join the newly forming UAS team.

Love is a firm believer that this technology will be extremely beneficial to the residents of Madison.

“It’s a great tool,” Love says. “I think we’re going to be able to use it to serve the residents of Madison and to really offer an opportunity to get help to people that are in need of it.”

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