Collierville PD adds new tools to the force to enhance tracking and investigations

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — The Collierville Police Department is adding some tools to the force.

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Unit has been added to CPD, which has eight members of the team, five officers, and three members from the Collierville Fire Department, a release said.

Tyler Williams, UAS Unit CommanderWilliams, believes the drone will enhance tracking scenarios but also expand investigative capabilities for emergency response.

“When you think drone, you may think the missing person or a runaway, but we started looking into many different situations such as investigating a traffic crash or locating a hot spot in a fire,” Williams said.

The Unit’s first mission: monitor traffic flow during the opening of the Germantown Baptist Church Vaccination Site on Feb. 2.

From inside the Mobile Command Unit, officers watched how vehicles moved through the parking lot with the ability to make real-time changes to the traffic plan, a release said.

“We were able to get some good practice, but also see a full view of the layout to determine traffic flow efficiency,” Williams said.

The UAS Unit received training from the Bartlett Police Department as well as pilot certifications.

“With the thermal detection of the drone, we can see where fire is traveling and better allocate our resources to suppress a fire,” said Lieutenant Dustin Johnson of the Collierville Fire Department. The drone can even be outfitted with air monitors during hazardous emergencies.

The Fire Department’s UAS Unit members work different shifts, so there is always a pilot at a firehouse in the event the drone is needed, a release said.

In addition to Johnson, Daniel LaPlante and Mike Sansone are part of the team. The Collierville Police Department includes Commander Williams, as well as Justin Lewis, Jessica Peterson, Matthew Medlock, and Richard Gallo, a release stated.