GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The launch of the new Grand Junction Police Department drone program isn’t science fiction, it’s a forensic science game changer. Program supervisor, Trent Rundquist says, “We’re going to be able to document crime scenes. We’re going to be able to document different types of traffic accidents. We’ll be able to use this in tactical and criminal investigations. Even help out with search and rescues.”
Rundquist is the Grand Junction Police crime lab supervisor, and now he’s also leading the Unmanned Aerial System Program he says will be more cost effective and time efficient in fighting crime. “We’re not going to have to sit and wait for some of our criminal investigations,” said Rundquist.
The mission of the Grand Junction Police Department is to serve and protect the community, and with the implementation of the Unmanned Aerial System Program, the mission isn’t changing, it’s evolving. Rundquist says, “It just gives us another tool to be able to help, really move forward with advances in technology, but at the same time working on public safety and officer safety.”
All Grand Junction Police drone operators are required to pass a remote pilot training course by the FAA, follow FAA flight rules, and operate under the fourth amendment to protect our community and your privacy. “We’re going to be following the same types of procedures we have for every other type of investigation. We’re going to ensure we’re not infringing on the public’s privacy as much as possible. We’re going to be flying it in a safe manner. We’re making sure we’re documenting what we say we’re documenting,” said Rundquist.
Three drones, 14 employees, and one pilot program is taking off both inside buildings and outside in the elements with the same goal, to protect and serve even better.