State Police adds eyes in the skies

Published: May. 30, 2017 at 6:20 PM MDT
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Drones offer a unique perspective from above and who better to benefit from the view than law enforcement?

Take a look high in the sky to see just what Idaho State Troopers can see, thanks to technology.

Idaho State Police has added six drones to their fleet.

They say the views from above are unlike many other vantage points.

“The best feature for this is, it gives you the bird’s eye view,” said Capt. Ismael Gonzales.

Idaho State Police adds an unmanned aircraft to their crew, to help gather evidence.

“It can be beneficial and just as many aspects of public safety period,” said Capt. John Ganske.

The aerial perspective helps collect information at crime scenes and crash sites.

It can also provide insight in the prosecuting phase.

“For our jurors to actually be able to see a bird’s eye view of what actually happened and what took place during a crash scene or crime scene investigation or anything like that,” said Capt. Gonzales.

13 trained troopers with FAA certifications have been using the drones for about a year now and they've found many situations where the device is necessary.

“For example when it was used during the floods there's aerial views to give people really the scope of what's going on,” said Capt. Gonzales.

Each drone costs around $1,500.

But as technology progresses more and more other agencies may soon be adding them to their team.

“I think we're starting to see that the technology is climbing fast with the whole drone technology, so prices are coming down for the aircraft so their more affordable,” said Capt. Ganske.

Capt. Ganske has been with ISP for 27 years and says he never could have imagined he'd be flying drones to help with investigations.

“When I started there we didn't have cell phones and you know how that's changed our everyday lives,” said Capt. Ganske. “I anticipate our new troopers starting out are going to see unbelievable things we can't even imagine.”

They can fly up to 400 feet in the air.

ISP says they operate them within legal constraints and often times they're surveillance use of the drones require a search warrant.