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Denver to use drones for 911 calls after city cut police dept’s budget by millions of dollars

denver police drones 911 calls
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The Denver Police Department (DPD) is set to introduce drones as part of their first-response strategy following significant budget cuts aimed at reallocating funds to support migrants.

In April, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced a plan to reduce city agency expenses by a total of $45.9 million. The police department’s budget was reduced by $8.4 million, while the fire department faced a $2.5 million cut.

A DPD spokesperson reportedly told TND on Tuesday that drones are increasingly becoming integral to their operations and may soon take over some tasks currently handled by officers, particularly in response to 911 calls. The department’s drone program, funded by a $100,000 grant from the Denver Police Foundation, is expected to launch within the next six months. These drones will also provide additional information at crime scenes to assist officers in making informed decisions.

“Drones as a First Responder is not an intervention tool, but rather a tool for situational awareness in which a centralized drone operator launches a drone from one of several base stations around the city to quickly get eyes on an in-progress situation to evaluate public and officer safety, as well as how best to maximize resources,” the spokesperson reportedly said.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is also exploring similar uses for drones. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry recently testified before Congress about the department’s drone initiatives. The NYPD has 85 drones, and their use has increased by over 419% compared to 2022. Currently, these drones are used in specific situations like assessing building structures and managing large crowds.

In Los Angeles, the Hawthorn Police Department has introduced the Responder drone, which can deliver medical supplies and provide live video feeds during 911 calls. According to the Los Angeles Times, these drones will be stationed at various charging hubs around the city for quick deployment in emergencies.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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