BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — The use of drones has evolved over the past two years. Now a course at TEEX is providing certification to improve public safety.
These students come from agencies across the state to earn this hands-on experience and certification to fly drones.
David Alaniz believes flying drones is an important skill in an officer's tool belt.
”Without the drones, there’s been times that we’ve probably wouldn’t have been able to locate whether it’s been a child or it’s been a suspect that’s committed a violent felony,” said David Alaniz, an officer earning certification.
Knowing the value behind this life-saving tool is what inspired instructor Brandon Karr to teach others as well.
”Most of these programs start out of tragedy," said Brandon Karr, public safety lead response for Pearland PD and TEEX drone instructor. "We had a missing person get called in and huge operation; we had multiple agencies come out there and we believe if we had a drone program at the time, we could've saved that individual.”
According to the center of study on drones, in one year the use of drones within agencies increased by 82 percent.
“This course is designed for an introduction to agencies that are interested in having drone programs and how they can be implemented," said Karr. "This course prepares them to take the part 107 FAA certification test.”
Not only do drones help save lives, but drones also ensure officers are not putting themselves in danger while serving their communities.
“It allows us to make safer decisions because having that aerial point of view allows us to provide more information to ground-level assets,” said Karr.
”Dangers are always going to be there. It’s a part of our job, but if we can reduce it just a little bit and put something that’s replaceable versus a human life, it’s not in danger- it’s 100 percent something that we’re able to do,” said Alaniz.
As drones become more useful, agencies are adding drones as first responders to departments to help save more lives.