A San Jose police official will give a presentation this evening about the department’s Unmanned Aerial System, also known as a drone, at the city’s Neighborhood Commission meeting at City Hall, a police spokesman said. Deputy Chief David Hober will answer questions about the UAS craft and seek comments from the public to help the department write policies and procedures before it is used, police Officer Albert Morales said.
Hober will be at the 30-member commission’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall in Wing Rooms 118 and 199. The department received the remote-controlled, six-propeller UAS, model Century NEO 660 Hex-Rotor, in January and has test flown it once but has not used it in public yet, according to Morales. “The primary purpose in us acquiring the device was for us to use it for bomb detection,” he said. The UAS would have a camera on it to send photos and live video and reduce the safety hazards of bomb detection for bomb squad officers, according to Morales.
It would also have a variety of other uses for public safety, such as providing police with views of shootings and hostage situations and for locating people trapped in rough terrain like in parts of Alum Rock Park in San Jose, he said. Before it can be deployed, the department has to develop policies for when and where to fly it, and will consult with the Federal Aviation Administration about the legal implications involved, he said. The device itself will not be on display at the meeting tonight but Hober will have a photo of it to show during his presentation, Morales said.
According to the Century website, the NEO 660 has six 10-inch propellers, mounts for a GPS device and GoPro brand camera and has options including 12-inch propellers and an aircraft radio transmitter and receiver system. The craft is capable of “stable hovering, precise cruising passes, and even enough power for loops and rolls can be achieved,” the company states on its website www.centuryheli.com. “It is a perfect platform for someone that’s looking for a solid multi-rotor for aerial photography, search and rescue operations, law enforcement agencies, and other activities where a flying drone is needed,” the website states.
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