Greenville PD gets federal grant for Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle

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21st century technology is revolutionizing how Greenville Police Officers patrol the city. 

By Spring of 2019 Greenville PD will have boots on the ground and eyes in the sky.

Police Chief Ken Miller tells 7News a federal grant is opening the door for the department to invest in new technology. 

“Our intentional use is to purchase some sort of unmanned aircraft systems,” said Miller. 

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, are popular for shooting footage from birds eye view. 

Sergio Loaiza, of Pro Bros Production in Greenville, uses his drone to capture landscapes for marketing purposes. He tells 7News UAV technology is so versatile that many people are noticing. 

“Everybody is using it… police stations are using it, search and rescue are using it.” Loaiza said. 

The aerial perspective has been used to survey the flooding from Florence. Police Chief Miller says the list is endless when it comes to utilizing the tool. 

“There are many departments in the city that have interest in this technology,” Miller told 7News. 

Greenville PD plans to use it to fight crime.

Right now, the Department relies on borrowing the Greenville Sheriff’s Office helicopter for things like man hunts, but that’s expensive. UAV runs on batteries and requires less manpower to do the job. 

So properly trained officers will be using the technology to do things like recreate car crashes. 

“We already pull down satellite images, but those satellite images, as you know, can sometimes be date.” Miller said. 

Officers will also be able to monitor large crowds during events and sent it into active shooter situations. 

“More frequently, the Police Department will use it to locate missing persons… either elderly, Alzheimer’s, Dementia patients,” said Miller. 

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