Drone technology to help West Seneca police fight crime

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Before long a buzzing sound will become familiar in West Seneca. It’s a new drone that will give police a leg up in emergency situations.

“It gives us a different perspective, an overhead view if you will, accident investigation, fire investigation, any type of search and rescue,” said West Seneca Police Lieutenant John Mcnamara.

The West Seneca Police department purchased the drone through a $10,000 state grant. It can fly up to 400 feet high and travel 40 miles per hour.

“It’s equipped with a 4k camera and it can also be switched out with a thermal imaging camera which would help for night vision search and rescue,” said Mcnamara.

“An accident scene you can get real time footage of the area and the surroundings and probably the sunlight daylight conditions as it happened as opposed to just guessing what happened at that time,” said West Seneca police officer Bob Deppeler.

In some scenarios the birds eye view could help police get to the bottom of a crime faster, or it could potentially save lives in hostage situations.

“We had a couple situations where we lost communications with their cell phone. We have a delivery device system on this where we can deliver a cell phone to somebody to keep in communication with them,” said Deppeler.

Officers can control the drone and camera through 2 iPads and remote controls.The West Seneca police department is one of the first to adopt the technology in Western New York.

“It’s technology it’s always moving forward this is just another tool for us to use to enable us to do our jobs better,” said Mcnamara.

West Seneca police expect the new drone technology to be up and running any day now, they’re just waiting on final approval from the FAA.

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