Taylorsville police use drone to find stolen car; track fleeing suspect

Drone. Photo: Taylorsville Police Department

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, June 18,2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Taylorsville Police Department has shared information on what may be its bust directly attributed to its new drone program.

“We’ve had them for several months now,” said Sgt. Amanda Marriott, a department spokeswoman, said of the drones. “I believe we bought three or four of them. And our drone team, all police officers, has finished their training and are certified by the FAA.”

Patrol officers tracked down a vehicle stolen out of Salt Lake City this past week, thanks to a departmental drone, according to a Taylorsville PD Facebook post.

“The suspect fled in the vehicle, became cornered, attempted to crash through a fence to escape and then fled on foot. The driver was tracked down and quickly taken into custody.

“The passenger attempted to hide. But TVPD drone operator, call sign Maverick, deployed his drone and located the passenger who was taken safely into custody for questioning.”

Marriott said Taylorsville appears to have taken the lead in drone law enforcement, although she has heard the West Valley force may have a drone.

The drone team is overseen by a sergeant, but any officer can request a drone deployment, she said, something then approved by a supervising officer. She’s called for them a handful of times herself.

“Like all law enforcement tools, there’s a time and place for their use,” Marriott said. “A hit and run is an obvious example. It definitely gives us a birds-eye view.”

She said the department’s drones probably fly a couple times a week.

Some police procedural websites note rural area may use drones fairly regularly for search and rescue, as flying them for 24 hours at a time does not require FAA clearances.


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