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Curious about how to best protect its 36 square mile jurisdiction—a large portion of which is occupied by a lake—the Town of Linn Police Department in Wisconsin wanted to explore the growing trend of using drones to help solve different cases, from drug busts to locating lost children and felons on the run.

A popular tourist destination, Linn’s population swells almost threefold in the summer months, putting a strain on the town’s police department due to limited manpower.

Police Chief James Bushey worked with Adorama Business Solutions to purchase three different drone models: DJI Inspire, DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, and DJI Spark (pictured below). The drones have enabled Linn police officers to reduce both the amount of time and manpower needed to respond to situations by 50%. Currently, the department uses drones for a range of circumstances, including:

  • Search and rescue operations, particularly in and surrounding the lake
  • Road damage surveying
  • Overhead images of buildings and structures for maintenance and repairs

Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the department has been able to utilize the drones to patrol its large jurisdiction while maintaining social distancing and reducing the number of officers in the field.

“The use of drone technology enables us to not only protect our community better and more efficiently, but we’re also able to help neighboring jurisdictions,” said James Bushey, Chief of the Town of Linn Police Department. “We all face similar manpower and equipment challenges, so unmanned aerial capabilities make a huge difference for solving cases. Combined with the ability to patrol while maintaining social distancing, we’re more confident than ever in our ability to protect our residents.”

Officers from the Town of Linn Police Department initially attended various local drone training courses, but in order to streamline the team’s development and ensure its quality, Chief James Bushey created an official FAA-approved curriculum, which all of the town’s officers now follow in order to earn certifications that allow them to fly drones. Chief Bushey is now one of five official drone flight trainers in the state of Wisconsin.

Updated: August 31, 2020 — 9:17 am

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