BAPD Adds 'Drone' To Fleet Thanks To Donation
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - The Broken Arrow Police Department is using advanced technology to help with crime scene investigations.
The new Unmanned Aerial System, or a drone as many of us call it, is part of the department's crime scene unit.
The drone is the newest addition to the Broken Arrow Police Department thanks to a $2,500 donation from the citizens' academy alumni association.
It's pretty rare for a department in the region to have its own drone.
Tulsa County Sheriff's Office doesn't have one, only saying it is a wish list item.
A private citizen just donated two drones to Rogers County for help with daily operations.
"It is definitely going to help us do our jobs better," said BAPD Officer James Koch.
Those jobs include crime and collision scene investigation, search and rescue operations and tactical situations.
"It is more cost-effective and easier and quicker to deploy this than a helicopter," Koch said.
Crime Scene investigator Jackie Smithson gave a tutorial and explained rules and regulations that come along with the drone.
Because some people on social media worry about privacy.
"Get ready to get tickets in the mail from the drone catching you speeding or peeking through your window. Privacy gone!" wrote Mike N Ashlyn.
Another person expressed support for them as long as it's not invading property rights.
"As long as it's not used to infringe on property rights of the people I see no problem with it," wrote Weldon Bell.
"Love it! Much safer than risking officers' lives," wrote Judith A Lawson Henson.
"It should have strict guidelines. Great asset for SWAT," wrote Charlie Daugherty.
"Can't be above people or buildings that aren't involved in the situation," said Jackie Smithson.
The department tells us the drone will never be used for routine patrol functions or searches without a warrant.
BAPD says this is just the first in a fleet of drones they hope to grow. In the future, they plan to purchase models that can be outfitted with FLIR cameras and be able to sustain stronger winds.