The Culver City, California, Police and Fire Departments recently released the results of a 22-month drone pilot program.
Over the course of the program, the drones were deployed a total of 50 times; 24 were for perimeter searches for armed or felony suspects and 15 for search and arrest warrant operations, with 22 suspects taken into custody.
The Police Department emphasized the benefits of drones always being available when compared to borrowing equipment from other police departments. Despite only being used for fires four times over the 22 month period, Culver City Fire Department leadership stated their belief in the effectiveness of drone use for approaching fires, according to Culver City News.
The initial purchase price of the drones was approximately $67,000, which included eight drones from DJI: four Phantom 4, two Spark, and two Matrice 210 models. Batteries, cameras, service plans for some of the drones, and other supporting equipment, were included in the price. After the initial purchase, the departments purchased additional service plans and equipment, as well as training materials and classes, bringing the total to $87,151.