West Memphis police introduce new drone response unit

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — New technology makes it easier and faster for police to solve crimes like murders, barricade situations and much more.

The new police chief of West Memphis is introducing a new drone response unit.

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He said the new system could save lives.

West Memphis Police Chief Michael Pope said this technology is going to help with emergency situations.

Whether they’re trying to solve a missing person case or murder, all of that will help with those investigations across this bridge.

West Memphis officials showed FOX13 video of officials viewing drone video minutes after a shooting at Courtyard Apartments.

Pope spoke with FOX13 about the new drone response unit his department is rolling out to help solve investigations quickly.

“The drone was a vital piece of equipment that we used in this incident,” Pope said. “It gave us valuable information to help us try to identify suspects in our investigation, also identify witnesses.  It played a vital role in keeping our officers safe.”

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Pope said investigators used the drone to get information about what happened before officers arrived at the scene.

“It could be domestic, it could be anything where the drone could get to the location before the cars can get there and it can also give the officers a response, play by play of anything that’s going on before they arrive onto the scene,” said Pope.

Pope said this new technology will also make it easier to help with missing person cases.

“It also has a good sensor. If someone is lost in the woods we can get a sensor, we can locate that person and send the rescue units to help those people in survivor’s need of their injuries.”

Pope plans to introduce this to the rest of the departments Monday. He will show them how it works.

He said this is also helpful when it comes to identifying license plates.