Beginning in 2015, Stan Taylor and Iain Lopata launched an effort to explore the potential for the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) to improve the process of crash investigation. Working hand-in-hand with the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) they developed a system that employs sUAS and photogrammetry to reduce road closure times, improve officer safety and capture better evidence at crash scenes.
Now, with more than 200 real world crash and crime scene investigations completed using the techniques that they developed, Stan and Iain are working to enable public safety agencies around the world to take advantage of these same techniques.
We believe that, just as many police departments have specialized K-9 units, many will also find that having a sUAS capability that can be deployed in defined situations will be valuable.
Just as with K-9 units, UASs have the potential to act as a "force multiplier" allowing officers to perform their duties more effectively and more safely. But also like K-9 units, the decision to start a UAS support unit within a department is one that needs to be approached thoughtfully. Careful consideration must be given to the business case, funding sources, training requirements, equipment selection, ongoing maintenance costs, deployment protocols, operating procedures and record keeping -- and not least the perception of the general public.
Our goal is to provide the support, resources and community that will help agencies across the country find effective ways to improve their operational capability and provide improved services through the use of this exciting new technology.
Stan Taylor is CEO of Aerial Metics and a reserve deputy sheriff with Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He teaches aerial photogrammetry for crash investigation and reconstruction both through Northwestern University Center for Public Safety (NUCPS) and Aerial Metrics. Stan can be reached at [email protected] or (224) 300 0212.
Iain Lopata is co-founder of Aerial Metrics and teaches aerial photogrammetry for crash investigation and reconstruction with NUCPS and at Aerial Metrics. Iain was among the first remote pilots to be certified by the FAA and holds a waiver for night operations under Part 107. Iain can be reached at [email protected] or (224) 300 0212.