Public Safety

VIDEO: Sheriff’s Department Takes Safety to New Heights

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has a team that takes public safety to new heights.

A year ago, the department started a pilot program to see if unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, would be a valuable tool to help the SWAT team.

Deputies that are on the UAV unit must pass a remote pilot’s license test, conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as eight hours of flight time training and a certification from the Sheriff’s Department.

For the people that have reservations about us using these and privacy issues – we don’t use the UAVs for surveillance… they’re very incident-driven.

Lt. Jason Vickery, San Diego Sheriff’s Department

The department has found that not only are drones helpful in SWAT situations, but in search-and-rescue missions as well.

Autumn Endara is a multimedia designer with the County of San Diego Communications Office.