Police said a person in a tent launched his own drone and attempted to shoot down the SPDs.
SPOKANE, Wash. – Drones have grown in popularity over the years and they have proven to be a useful tool for the Spokane Police Department (SPD).
“The community benefits because we are able to find these people, the officers benefit because we are not ambushed, and the suspect benefits because we are able to use other tools and tactics to find a peaceful solution,” SPD Cpl. said Nick Briggs.
They also help officers see in the dark when an armed suspect tries to hide in someone’s yard. Officers knew exactly where he was.
“I found the suspect in hiding, I was able to position the officers so they could protect the public, but also start the de-escalation,” Briggs said.
Last July, Spokane police were on the trail of a burglar who stole a laptop from a business in South Freya. The suspect rushed into the homeless camp and eventually into a tent.
The police launched a drone and within minutes a person living in the camp decided to launch his own to try and bring down the SPDs. The camper’s drone flew straight at the SPD drone and rammed it, breaking a propeller.
“Any time law enforcement deploys a relatively new technique or tool, there are people who have the opposite interest,” Briggs said. “They are trying to avoid being apprehended. They are trying to obstruct investigations.”
The officer was able to arrest the burglary suspect, but now they have an entirely different investigation. Witnesses at the camp told police they knew who was responsible and that he had several drones in his tent. But, when officers searched him, they found nothing.
The investigation is still ongoing. Cpl. Briggs says that to his knowledge, this is the first time someone has targeted an SPD drone.
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