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Maricopa police utilizing new drone to assist officers in the field

Posted at 10:52 PM, Jan 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 00:52:56-05

The Maricopa Police Department's new $23,000 drone has completed two successful missions, according to program manager Ricardo Alvarado. 

A YouTube video posted on the department's Twitter account shows the drone being used to assist firefighters during a recent call to a church. Alvarado said the drone's thermal FLIR camera surveyed the roof for hot spots in case firefighters needed to ventilate.

The UAS was also used to assist patrol officers tracking a car they thought was stolen. 

"We were able to lead them in and maintain coverage over the top,” said Alvarado. 

Maricopa is using a modified DJI Matrice 600 UAV. It is made of carbon fiber and equipped with six propellers. Alvarado said the unit could lose two of its propellers and still stay airborne. 

ABC15 first reported on the drone in September.