Times-Call reports that public safety in Boulder County has rapidly improved since adding drone technology to the team. On the roof of a Longmont FirstBank, a suspect on the run from police was at last spotted.
That September night, a man, who would later be identified as Augustus Cropp, 21, rode an ATV through Longmont in an alleged crime spree, first threatening people with a weapon that would later be determined to be a BB gun. Police said Cropp also attempted to steal a delivery truck, broke into a house and stole clothes and trespassed at the bank, where an employee saw him and called the police.
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Rather than sending police up to the roof in search of Cropp, Longmont police Sgt. Jason Malterud said they first piloted a drone to his location to provide a complete picture of the situation.
“We actually didn’t have to put anybody on the roof, which is very unsafe for the suspect and for us,” Malterud said. “We could put the drone up there and look. We saw him and gave him commands. He complied and came down to us.”
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If not for the drone, Malterud said police likely would have had to contact the fire department for a ladder truck. The situation is one of many in which public safety officials have used unmanned aerial systems to assist in operations.
The high-flying technology has ushered in a new era of crime-fighting and rescue techniques. With drones at their disposal, authorities have located suspects fleeing from justice, found missing people in the wilderness and been able to capture invaluable information in a short span of time. Continue reading about drones helping Boulder.