News media watched quietly through their lenses as Arlington Police Department launched a remote-controlled small helicopter at Lake Arlington Thursday afternoon -- a surveillance drone.
The process began with officers adhering to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulated checklist that must be completed before launching the small helicopter. The Arlington Police Department recently received approval from the FAA to fly its two small battery-operated, remote-controlled helicopters after two years of planning and training.
This additional tool is one of many public safety options available to police officers in the ongoing effort to keep Arlington residents and visitors safe. The helicopter can transmit video to a ground crew and cover wide areas very quickly. It is also very quiet.
In an effort to help foster a better understanding of the Aviation Unit, the APD also created a webpage to educate the public on when and how it will be operated and to clarify the aircraft’s capabilities.
The Arlington Police Department is among the first municipal law enforcement entities in the country to utilize the technology.