Wood County Commission Explores Brinc Drones for Law Enforcement

Estimated read time 3 min read

The Wood County Commission in Parkersburg, West Virginia, is taking steps to evaluate advanced Drone Technology for local law enforcement, according to a recent report from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. The commission is planning a demonstration of Brinc Drones designed specifically for Police use, signaling a potential shift in how the county approaches public safety and emergency response.

Sheriff Highlights Drone Capabilities

Wood County Sheriff Rick Woodyard presented videos to the commission showcasing the capabilities of modern law enforcement drones. He emphasized the rapid advancements in drone technology over the past five years, describing features that once seemed like “science fiction” becoming reality.

“Some of the newer drone technologies over the last five years have really taken off,” Woodyard stated, highlighting the drones’ ability to operate both indoors and outdoors, providing real-time video feeds to officers en route to a scene.

Versatile Applications in Law Enforcement

The drones under consideration offer a wide range of applications for law enforcement:

  1. Event monitoring as a “force multiplier”
  2. Accident scene mapping and evidence location
  3. SWAT team support for indoor reconnaissance
  4. Two-way communication in hostage situations

Sheriff Woodyard noted that these drones could significantly enhance officer safety by providing crucial information before entering potentially dangerous situations.

Legal and Practical Considerations

Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure addressed the Legal aspects of using drone footage in court, stating, “It would not be difficult to present in our courts.” He also mentioned the potential benefits for crash investigation teams and jury understanding.

Commissioner Jimmy Colombo expressed interest in the technology’s evidence-gathering capabilities, asking about the drones’ ability to focus on specific areas around crime scenes.

Future Demonstration Planned

Commission President Blair Couch proposed organizing a demonstration for local officials and law enforcement agencies who might benefit from the technology. The commission is working to set a date for this demonstration, which could include representatives from various agencies and potentially even circuit court judges as observers.

DroneXL’s Take

The Wood County Commission’s interest in advanced law enforcement drone technology aligns with a broader trend in emergency response innovation. Brinc Drones, US-based drone maker, has recently introduced groundbreaking solutions that could revolutionize 911 response systems.

Brinc’s new “Responder” drone, unveiled in May 2024, is specifically designed for 911 call responses. With features like a 42-minute flight time, multiple sensors, and the ability to deliver life-saving equipment, these drones represent the cutting edge of what Sheriff Woodyard described to the Wood County Commission.

The integration of real-time 911 call streaming with drone feeds, as demonstrated by Brinc’s partnership with HigherGround, could provide the kind of comprehensive situational awareness that Wood County officials are seeking. As more police departments across the country adopt these technologies, Wood County’s exploration of drone capabilities puts them at the forefront of a national shift in emergency response strategies.

As the commission moves forward with its evaluation, it will be interesting to see how these technologies might be implemented to enhance public safety in Wood County and potentially serve as a model for other rural communities.

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