Early Results from UAS IPP Drone as a First Responder Program

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Cape, the leading cloud platform for drone telepresence and data management, and the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD), today announced early results from its Drone as a First Response (DFR) program, part of the San Diego Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). Since the program’s launch in October 2018, drones equipped with the Cape Aerial Telepresence platform have conducted more than 282 flights, accounting for more than 75 hours of flight time without incident, and have contributed to 20 arrests.

In partnership with Cape, CVPD is the first agency in the U.S. to pioneer the Drone as a First Responder model, integrating drones into daily emergency response operations. Opting to use Cape-enabled drones proactively in emergency situations versus traditional reactive response and support efforts, CVPD is unlocking the full potential of drones as a true first responder. In the first four months of the deployment, the drones have proven to increase situational awareness, increase the safety of officers and surrounding community, and to better inform decisions and manage resources through real-time aerial data.

“The Chula Vista Police Department is at the forefront of utilizing drones to enhance the science of policing,” said Chris Rittler, CEO of Cape. “As more agencies begin to adopt drone technology, Chula Vista will undoubtedly be the agency that others from across the country look to and replicate for emergency response and support. We’re proud to be a part of this initiative and to support one of the most innovative police forces in the United States.”

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“Since launching the DFR program, the program is already having a significant impact on operations and resource management. Real-time aerial visibility is critical when informing decisions, and in an emergency situation, is vital to the safety of our officers and citizens,” said Roxana KennedyChula Vista Chief of Police. “We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Cape, and expanding the DFR program to use drones to improve safety and efficiency, and reduce crime in Chula Vista. These early results are already proving the impact of the Drone as a First Responder model, and it’s an honor to be a part of shaping the future of drone integration in the United States.”

As part of the program, Cape-enabled drones are dispatched to high-priority calls such as crimes in progress, fires, traffic incidents, and reports of dangerous subjects, in close proximity of the CVPD headquarters, which is one of the heaviest call sectors in the City of Chula Vista. After being launched, the drone’s on-board camera live streams HD video to the teleoperator in the command center, who can maneuver the drone and the camera remotely in real-time in order to gain the exact visibility needed, and communicate with the units in the field to give them information and tactical intelligence about what they are responding to. With the drone typically arriving on scene well before responding ground units, the command center can better identify and dispatch needed resources to the scene. Responding officers can also view the live stream en route to the scene on their mobile devices, giving them full visibility of the situation to which they are responding. Today, the drones serve as active responders for upwards of 10 hours per day, four days a week, with plans to increase over time.

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Among the many examples to date, the CVPD received a dispatch call describing the location of a suspect wanted for assault with a deadly weapon. Using the Cape-enabled drone, the CVPD was able to quickly locate the suspect, and communicate and coordinate with responding officers, while maintaining constant visual contact with the subject via aerial telepresence. Officers were able to safely arrest the suspect, who was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

The launch of the program closely followed Cape’s release of national survey data, showing that U.S. consumers are ready to embrace drones as a public safety tool. With 71% of today’s consumers saying they support law enforcement’s use of drones in their community, and 62% explicitly saying they would feel safer if their local first responders used drones to protect their communities.

Cape’s partnership with CVPD is the latest example of its work helping companies across industries use drones as a tool for improving safety, increasing operational efficiency, and enabling innovation. Furthering its reputation as one of the leaders in the drone software space, Cape is one of the first and only companies in the U.S. to be awarded precedent-setting waivers under both Section 333 and Part 107 regulations, and has performed more than 100,000 flights in the U.S., Middle EastMexico, and Australia.

For more information about Cape, please visit http://www.cape.com


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