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.


Signal Mountain Mayor Says Town Has Problems Keeping Full Staffs

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News


Signal Mountain Mayor Dan Landrum’s annual “State of the Town” address was a mostly-positive recap of what the community had accomplished in 2019, while also highlighting its most notable problem. ... (click for more)

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Signal Mountain Mayor Says Town Has Problems Keeping Full Staffs

Signal Mountain Mayor Dan Landrum’s annual “State of the Town” address was a mostly-positive recap of what the community had accomplished in 2019, while also highlighting its most notable problem. Throughout the address, Mayor Landrum praised the work of the various Signal Mountain departments. But in the end, a unifying theme became apparent for the state of Signal Mountain’s government. ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Opinion

What Downtown Needs

Dear Jim and Kim, Thank you for launching River City's effort to look at what can be done to re-energize and protect the Riverfront area. I will not be able to make it to meetings this month so I decided to jot down my thoughts. I would appreciate it if you would include a copy of this email with the feedback "record" for Wednesday's community meeting. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pythons Lose In Bowl

With the Super Bowl in Miami a week away, the results of the Python Bowl captivated South Florida on Saturday. That’s right; it was announced 80 Burmese pythons had been dragged out of the Everglades by a band of cash-hungry snake hunters and Mike Kimmel won an off-road ATV for bagging the most – eight. His buddy Tom Rahill won $2,000 for bringing in the longest – a 12 foot, seven ... (click for more)

Sports

CFC Anounces NISA Schedule; Home Opener Is March 14

Soccer in the Scenic City is fast approaching and the Chattanooga Football Club announces its NISA schedule for the Spring season. Fans will enjoy seven home games in “Fort” Finley Stadium starting March 14th against Michigan Stars. “It’s going to be an exciting Spring for the boys in blue. We’ve worked hard with NISA to create a schedule that gives fans and supporters a maximum ... (click for more)

Pat Benson: I'm Going To Miss You Kobe

The tears just won’t stop flowing. My dad called me in a panic yesterday afternoon to break the news before I saw it online. He knew that Kobe was my favorite athlete of all time. Scratch that, one of my favorite people of all time. Kobe was on my Mt. Rushmore of people I never met but still adored. Right above Barack Obama and Kanye West. If you know me then you know how much ... (click for more)