Sheriff's Office Trains Pilot To Operate A Drone For Police Work

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office officially unveiled its new, state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial System (UAV) to the community on Monday.

The press conference featured Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, HCSO Detective and UAV Pilot, Richard Whaley, Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston, and field interviews from HCSO Detective and UAV Pilot, Marty Dunn.

Officials said, "The HCSO’s UAS fleet will assist law enforcement in support of public safety missions to include, but not limited to, gathering photographic and video evidence over crime and traffic accident scenes, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) missions, response to hazardous materials spills, search and rescue missions, public safety, life preservation missions, gathering photographic and video images over disaster and fire scenes, and training missions.

"Historically, law enforcement has had the ability to have an aerial view with manned aircraft, but this is usually limited to large agencies and is very costly. Most agencies with air operations can expect to pay approximately $350 or more per hour to operate a fixed or rotor wing aircraft. Due to the cost prohibitive nature of having fixed or rotary wing aircraft, the HCSO has chosen to go with UAS as they are much more cost efficient to operate.

"The technology used in our UAS division is civilian based and is appropriately limited. For example, our UAS equipment does not allow the HCSO to see through walls, listen to conversations, monitor cell phones, etc.

"Nationally and state wide case law has been established that guides our use and there is no effort here to use Unmanned Aerial Systems to circumvent well established fourth amendment protections.

"Images collected with the use of this technology are handled and retained within industry standards, consistent with images collected with any camera by law enforcement, and are subject to professional standards and codes of conduct including TCA code 39-13-609, the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act (use of drones to gather evidence or information).

"The HCSO is proud to have this modern, life-saving technology and looks forward to having this resource available to help serve and protect the citizens of Hamilton County."

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has been cleared to begin using a drone in police and rescue work.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said Marty Dunn went through 40 hours of training to become a drone pilot. He will also utilize a co-pilot when the drone is in use, it was stated.

The sheriff said the drone can be operated for 14 times less than calling in a helicopter.

He said it could also be used in SWAT situation and for gathering video evidence.

The department has authorization for use from the FAA.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Type O Blood Donors Needed At Blood Assurance Due To Low Donor Turnout

Police Blotter: Man With Knife At Champy's Asked To Leave; Dropped Coin Allows Woman To Spot Credit Card At Donut Window


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABDALLA, OSMAN ZAKARIA 1118 GROVE ST CHATTANOOGA, 374023744 Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Blood Assurance is urging all eligible type O donors to make an appointment to donate blood this week to prepare for traumas, natural disasters, and regularly scheduled transfusions to help patients ... (click for more)

Police observed two vehicles parked in the park at 2800 Harrison Pike at 8:45 p.m. Police spoke with the two drivers who said they were just enjoying that it was not raining and could talk outside. ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABDALLA, OSMAN ZAKARIA 1118 GROVE ST CHATTANOOGA, 374023744 Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- BAKER, SAUNJAE HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37403 Age at Arrest: 43 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DISORDERLY CONDUCT POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE POSSESSION ... (click for more)

Type O Blood Donors Needed At Blood Assurance Due To Low Donor Turnout

Blood Assurance is urging all eligible type O donors to make an appointment to donate blood this week to prepare for traumas, natural disasters, and regularly scheduled transfusions to help patients in need. The need for blood never stops but over the last few months, donor turnout has been low. In order to meet the needs of local patients, the amount of donors seen each day must ... (click for more)

Opinion

COVID Vaccine: Fomenting Fear And Spreading Disinformation

Tennesseans have proven we are resilient and determined moving through the COVID pandemic response. Getting to this point in our state -- one of only a handful that has economic growth, open schools and an ability to see a light at the end of this proverbial tunnel -- has taken unbelievable effort. Yet, one revelation of many over the last year has been the need to reject those ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In March

It was about midnight last night, just at the point we flip a page on the calendar, when the month of March arrived in the middle of a thunderstorm. You bet, just as it has for ages, this month arrives like a lion and eases out 31 days from now as a lamb. I could hardly mind the thunder; I am so glad to see the arrival of spring and the promise my flowers will awake from their winter’s ... (click for more)

Sports

February Football: UTC Shocks Wofford, 24-13

The Chattanooga Mocs have never played a football game in February and chances are good they won’t ever do it again, but the local guys have a perfect record in the month more focused on Ground Hog Day and Valentine’s than college football. It was certainly different being at Finley Stadium on a Saturday afternoon in a month more designed for basketball than football, but what ... (click for more)

Tennessee Falters At Bruce Pearl's Auburn, 77-72

Tennessee lost the battle on the boards Saturday, as the 25th-ranked Volunteers suffered a 77-72 setback at Auburn Arena. Tennessee (16-7, 9-7 SEC) was out-rebounded by Auburn (12-13, 6-10 SEC) 38-31 overall and gave up 16 offensive boards to the Tigers. Freshman Keon Johnson led UT in scoring with 23 points on a 9-of-17 mark from the field. Classmate Jaden Springer ... (click for more)