Savannah Police plan to add drones to fleet

New tools coming to the Savannah Police Department could help officers on crime scenes and in active searches.

Police refer to them as ‘small unmanned aircrafts’ more commonly known as ‘drones.’

Savannah Police tell News 3 they’ll be used for crime scenes, major accidents, search and rescue missions, and criminal searches.

Sergeant Max Nowinsky is a part of the planning and tec unit for Savannah Police Department. He says they’ve been conducting research for about a year.  He says they could hit the streets as early as next year.

He says the goal is to”provide better more efficient services in very specific types of incidents.”

There will be a total of three drones.

The first one will be used by Forensics and Traffic units. “We plan on using this device to photograph crimes scenes and major accident scenes,” Nowinsky says.

The second is a search and rescue drone. It can detect heat at any time and endure inclement weather.

The third will be used in planned situations. Police say only when there is an immediate life threat or a warrant in place.

Every officer is required by the Federal Aviation Administration to undergo training. Officers must have a Part 107 Certification and a Certificate of Authorization.

Sergeant Nowinsky says the public doesn’t have to worry about their privacy with drones.

“The key that we want everyone to understand is we are not going to use these devices to conduct random patrol or random surveillance,” Nowinsky says.

The police department is still trying to select a vendor. Once they do,  they can order the drones and begin training officers. Training would take 3-5 days.

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