Elk Grove Police Introduces First Responder Drones

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New Program to Enhance Emergency Response Times and Efficiency

The Elk Grove Police Department in California is set to launch a new program that will deploy drones as First Responders to emergency situations. The department, which has been utilizing drones since 2019, is now taking a step forward by introducing a new type of drone that can be controlled from inside the police headquarters and launched within seconds of receiving a 911 call.


The first responder drones will be strategically positioned in various neighborhoods throughout the city, ensuring they can reach any location within Elk Grove in just three minutes, reports CBS News. The program is modeled after a similar initiative run by the Chula Vista Police Department in San Diego County, which has successfully used drones in thousands of emergencies over the past five years.

Officer Christina Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the Elk Grove Police Department, addressed potential concerns regarding privacy, stating, “We’re not going to be invading anyone’s privacy. Anywhere that you would expect your privacy, you’re still going to have it.” The drones will fly below 400 feet and can operate both day and night.

Addressing a Wide Range of Emergencies and Violations

The new Drone Technology will not only respond to emergency situations but can also be used to issue citations for various offenses, such as the use of illegal fireworks or street racing. “If we see you, we’ll get your license and you’ll get a citation later,” Gonzalez explained. “Officers never have to respond.”

With Elk Grove police responding to more than 45,000 calls annually, the department estimates that approximately 11% of these calls could be handled solely by a drone overhead. This efficiency will allow the department to allocate its officers to situations where they are truly needed.

Investing in Public Safety and Efficiency

The Elk Grove City Council has approved a $2 million budget to operate the new drone program over a four-year period. The initiative is expected to be fully operational within the next six to twelve months.

The introduction of first responder drones in Elk Grove marks a significant step forward in leveraging technology to enhance public safety and improve emergency response times. By deploying drones as the initial responders to a wide range of situations, the Elk Grove Police Department aims to optimize its resources and provide a more efficient service to the community it serves.

Featured image is for illustration purposes only.

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