Medford police announce drone program

MEDFORD, Ore. – Medford police are taking to the skies with a new drone program.

The Medford Police Department said three officers have been trained and certified to operate four separate drones as part of MPD’s “Drone Response Team.”

According to officers, the team can assist with numerous tasks, including search and rescue operations, tracking fleeing suspects, assessing damage from natural disasters, and possibly assisting in identifying illegal and unregistered drones that could threaten public safety. MPD said the drone will not be actively flown around in search of crimes.

“We are excited to implement a program that will increase the abilities of our officers and department,” said Police Chief, Justin Ivens. “The Drone Response Team will play an important role in assisting our agency in times of need.”

MPD said the Drone Response Team will have a dedicated ground vehicle for the program.

According to officers, civil forfeiture funds were used to buy the four drones. Ongoing costs will reportedly be included in future budget cycles.

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