Idaho State Police (ISP) hosted a demonstration of its new drone program this week. The agency's Small Unmanned Aerial System program includes six DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopters, which have been in operation for nearly a year and cost approximately $1,500 per unit.
The drones are used to expedite crash scene investigations and get traffic flowing more quickly; to conduct surveillance in crime scene investigations; to assist officers during search and rescues; and to mitigate the risk to officer safety in hazardous materials situations. The drones will also provide support to other agencies.
Thirteen ISP troopers all over the state are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate the drones, and operating the drones is subject to legal contraints and ISP procedures for obtaining a search warrant and handling evidence.