The unmanned aerial systems will be used by the Concord, California, Police Department in its search and rescue efforts and post-incident crime scene documentation. - Photo: Unsplash/Jason Blackeye

The unmanned aerial systems will be used by the Concord, California, Police Department in its search and rescue efforts and post-incident crime scene documentation.

Photo: Unsplash/Jason Blackeye

The Concord, California, Police Department (CPD) is launching a new unmanned aerial system (UAS) program thanks to a grant from Marathon Petroleum, a private oil company. The department’s program proposal and acceptance of the $30,000 grant was approved at the Oct. 14 Concord City Council regular business meeting.

The UAS program for CPD will include a total of five drones from Airworx Unmanned Solutions that will provide airborne support for various public safety efforts, including search and rescue, tracking down missing persons and/or hiding suspects, and post-incident crime scene preservation and documentation. In a presentation to the council, Lt. Nick Gartner said the drones will also help free up officers in the department, which is currently understaffed.

Over the past couple of months, drones borrowed from neighboring agencies played a key role in three cases in which the CPD was called into action.

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