Last month, the Marysville Police Department conducted periodic drone training and monitored the protest march from Yuba Park to Ellis Lake.
The department has used an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone since October 2019 when the Yuba Water Agency awarded a grant to purchase a drone and pay for training, according to Lt. Adam Barber.
“The primary objective of the UAV program is to monitor Marysville’s levee systems and assist first responders with emergency evacuations,” Barber said via email. “When the UAVs are not being used for their primary objective they will be utilized for videoing major traffic collisions, documenting crime scenes, surveying disaster sites, search and rescue, and monitoring serious in-progress crimes.”
The drone allows the department to get to areas that are inaccessible to vehicles and get a bird’s eye view of incidents that assist in the safety of first responders. Along with the one drone, the department has an all-terrain vehicle and a utility terrain vehicle. Both are used in off-road situations. The ATV and UTV located and recovered several stolen vehicles during the month of May.
There are currently no ongoing costs to the city to operate the drone thanks to the grant from YWA, according to Barber.
“The Marysville Police Department has currently had only positive outcomes regarding the utilization of the UAV,” Barber said.