Dallas PD announces unit using drones to help in searches, solve crimes

The Dallas Police Department is now using drones as part of its new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit to help fight and solve crimes.

The new squad is part of DPD's Air Support Unit that supports patrol divisions and other investigative teams.

Specially trained officers will operate the drones and will help in cases involving disaster responses, missing persons, fugitive searches, and crime scene photography.

DPD said the UAS unit will only come out when requested.

"We don't do anything anticipatory or proactive. So everything we do is from either 911 calls or from officers on the ground who are seeing things and we respond looking at exactly what is requested and that information is limited to what that critical incident will be, not the general sense," explained DPD Sgt. Ross Stinson.

Dallas police said some of their larger drones have thermal lenses, which can help in search and rescue cases.

DPD’s UAS unit will follow all FAA guidelines and will not conduct flights for mass surveillance.

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