By Colette Wright
The San Pablo Police Department this week introduced a new drone at the community’s annual National Night Out event.
The drone, dubbed US-1, has the capability to stay in the air for more than an hour, improving the department’s operational efficiency.
“We believe this increased operational efficiency will greatly impact public safety in San Pablo as officers can respond to specific priority incidents quickly without worrying of restrictions of battery life,” the department said in a release issued earlier this week.
Deployment of US-1 is the first stage of a new comprehensive drone program which will include a total of three drone and is being made possible through a partnership with Sunnyvale-based, Impossible Aerospace.
As reported in the East Bay Times, department officials believe the new drones will make a big difference in the community. “We believe they will keep our community safer and our officers much safer. The way we deploy, our officers will be able to deploy the drone within two minutes, and we’ll be able to get responding officers information about a scene before they get there,” Capt. Brian Bubar told the East Bay Times.
In July, the San Pablo Police Department was awarded a Certificate of Authorization by the FAA to deploy the US-1, winch allows drone deployment at any time of the day or night.
The San Pablo Police Department and Impossible Aerospace held a series of community meetings and discussions with community leaders, which helped shape the new drone program.
On August 5 2019, The San Pablo City Council unanimously approved the drone program. Over the upcoming weeks, the department will be training for full deployment as a team of pilots will be prepared to respond to critical incidents.