Home News Drones now available for Minden police officers with FAA certification

Drones now available for Minden police officers with FAA certification

by Amber McDown

Four Minden police officers have completed certification as drone operators through the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, and now the new equipment is up and operational. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification empowers these officers to operate drones within the city limits, adding a valuable asset to the Minden Police Department’s (MPD) resources.

Lieutenant Kendrick highlighted the diverse applications of drones, stating, “It’s just another tool in our toolbox to help us with all the other stuff we’re doing.” The certified officers will utilize drones not only for investigative purposes, such as scanning areas for evidence in criminal cases, but also for contributing to public safety during special events like parades.

Chief Jared McIver reiterated the department’s commitment to maintaining privacy while enhancing officer safety with the addition of drones to the MPD’s equipment arsenal. Reflecting on the local homicide case of Daniel Merritt, Chief McIver emphasized the advantages of utilizing drones to obtain a comprehensive, bird’s-eye view of an area. The larger surveillance drone has already demonstrated its efficacy in a stolen property case.

Considering the broader utility of drones in cases such as foot pursuits, traffic pursuits, and searches for missing persons, McIver acknowledged the tremendous resource they represent. The procurement of the two drones, including a larger unit for overhead surveillance and a smaller unit for indoor use, was made possible through funding from various sources, including donations earmarked for the department’s Special Response Team.

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith, leading the MPD’s Criminal Investigation Division, played a pivotal role in this initiative, undergoing training and obtaining the necessary license and FAA certification to operate the department’s new aerial assets. Describing the functionality of the drones, Sgt. Smith emphasized the safety aspect, particularly in high-risk situations, where the indoor unit can be deployed to explore confined spaces without jeopardizing officers.

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