WHERE: 16680 CO-14, Ault, CO 80610, USA
WHEN: November, 15, 2022
The Ault Police Department is a municipal police department in northern Weld County, Colorado. We provide full-service law enforcement to the growing towns of Ault and Pierce. We have a mutual-aid agreement for law enforcement assistance in the Town of Nunn during understaffed periods. Mutual-aid assistance is provided to the Sheriff’s Office and State Patrol as requested. We have a sworn staff of 15 Police Officers, Investigators, Reserves, and Command Staff. A non-sworn staff of 3 technicians takes care of code enforcement, records, and evidence. The Ault Police Department imagines an “all hazards” approach to a drone program that would be available for mutual-aid uses in our neighboring jurisdiction. We have had many incidents over the years that stick out to me as drone worthy. • September 2022 – A suspect stole a truck from a job site in a neighboring county. The suspect drove the truck to our area, and in his attempt to hide from law enforcement, he became stuck on the railroad tracks – ultimately being struck by a passing freight train. Upon the arrival of our officers, the damaged stolen vehicle attempted to flee from officers. The suspect was unable to flee due to the disabled vehicle. He barricaded himself inside the vehicle and refused to cooperate with law enforcement. The ability of having a drone on this scene would have been used for several reasons. It would have been used to try and identify the suspect inside the vehicle. It would also go be used to identify if the suspect was armed with a weapon or not. This arial information would have made it so that approaching Officers could be safe in the removal of the suspect. • September 2015 – A victim was reported missing by her mother. A missing person investigation was conducted with ultimately led to the confession of a murder. The suspects were unable to provide a location of the victim’s body. Many months were spent driving hundreds of road miles and chasing leads before locating her body in Wyoming. Officers spent hours walking fields looking for clues to her location that would have been significantly easier, and time saved by use of drone search methods. Many man-hours were spent ground searching and hiking into areas that could have been easily cleared from the air. • December 2019 – Our Officers were notified of a stolen vehicle entering the area, driven by a suspected wanted in connection with 2 homicides in Illinois. The vehicle was located, and the suspect led Officers and Troopers on a high-speed chase, ultimately crashing his vehicle. Gunshots immediately rang out from the suspect vehicle. Officers took cover at their patrol vehicles but did not have a view of the suspect. Numerous attempts to communicate with the suspect were unsuccessful. County SWAT was contacted to respond. They were eventually able to approach the vehicle and determine the suspect was deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The ability of having a drone on this scene would have provided a view of the suspect much sooner than waiting on the arrival of SWAT. It could have been immediately determined that the suspect was down, and life-saving measures could have been attempted. Without it, the time to attempt life-saving measures had well passed. These cases are just three of the many examples of incidents we have been a part of that would have benefited from the use of a drone. There are numerous other uses that are much more frequent than these “serious” cases I described. These uses include: • Search & Rescue • Natural Disaster Incident Management • Hazmat Recon • Suspect Location • Officer Safety • Fire Investigations • Fatal Traffic Scene Investigation • Accident Reconstruction • Scene Mapping • Evidence Location • Assistance to Fire Agencies as needed Our agency currently does not have any access to equipment capable of allowing aerial photographs to be taken. Typically, without a drone, aerial photographs are taken from a fire department ladder truck. Our fire department partners do not have a truck with this capability, so important aerial photographs are not obtained. The vision of the drone program would include a drone that has capabilities of easy flight, high-quality video and photograph recording, high-quality thermal image camera, extended battery capacity, ability to stream footage to a monitor in a command post, ability to accurately document location to be transferred into reconstruction software, and the ability for it to be easily shared between pilots. It would be a true honor to receive a donation of a drone to begin a program within our agency and assisting our mutual-aid partners. The drone would play a key role in first responder safety and community safety! Thank you for taking the time to consider our request.
Colorado Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting (CoE), a section within The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control:
“We look to identify new drone technology to help firefighters do their job faster safer and more efficiently. Our mission is to drive technological advancements to improve firefighting practices and influence innovation across the public safety community. We have older drones that have been shelved and we are donating them to help public safety agencies through the National Public Safety Drone Donation Program. This department was one of the five departments that applied for a drone to NPS-DDP.org. We are helping support NPS-DDP.org’s mission to put “Eyes In The Sky For Every Department In Need ™.”
The National Public Safety Drone Donation Program:
“We are pleased to see companies of all types making donations in support of the NPS-DDP mission to help put “ Eyes In The Sky For Every Department In Need™” The generosity of these types of donations cannot be underestimated as this hardware provides life-saving value in the hands of those who work so hard to protect the communities they serve. Also, it provides a tremendous amount of economic beneﬁt in saved man-hours. We encourage private citizens and any company including public safety to contact us to recycle any unused UAV back into service. If any of the drones that we receive are not suitable for public safety we have partnered with women and drones to donate these types of drones to STEM programs across the country to help beneﬁt youth education.” Said Mark Langley CEO of NPS-DDP