Memorial Villages PD touts new drone tech will 'change the future of police work'

Shelley Childers Image
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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Memorial Villages Police Department uses a new drone, Air One, saying it will 'change the future of police work' in Houston, Texas.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Flying high above the pine trees of Piney Point Village, a humming drone is changing the world of police work for Memorial Villages Police Department.

"When we're actually flying it, I call it, 'Air One,'" Community Resource Officer Larry Boggus said.

For years the drone has acted as an eye in the sky for the small police department.

"We're able to see what's going on on-scene usually before the officer," Boggus, who is the police department's drone program pilot, said.

But outside the building, their drone dome's newest piece of technology now houses the Air One, so it's ready to deploy hands-free day or night.

The white dome is powered to remotely open and close, insulated to protect the drone from heat, rain, and wind, and it can charge the drone while it sits on the landing pad.

"That is what I call the new future of DFR, the drone first responder," Boggus said, who can now operate the drone remotely from his computer or cell phone without touching it.

Air One, he says, can fly upwards of three miles away. He watches and directs the drone without a line of sight from his office.

The drone is used daily on calls to check out suspicious activity, flooded roads, a traffic jam due to a car crash, house alarms, everyday traffic stops, and fires.

"We're able to stream that broadcast to the chief, to the fire chief, to anybody who needs to see what's going on at the time of the incident," he said.

He says with a high-powered drone and its new outdoor insulated home, this technology combination is the future.

"It's helping us respond to calls quicker. It's helping us stop the crime, locate the suspects, clear calls, and free up officers for other calls. It's just a new technology that's changing the world on police work," Boggus said.

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