Memorial Villages PD utilizing drone technology to fight crime

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The Memorial Villages Police Department is utilizing a new tool these days.

The department is turning to technology to help keep the community and first responders safe.

"It’s a program in which a drone is deployed to certain events after we receive a 911 call," Chief Ray Schultz said.

Thanks to a private-public partnership with new startup Paladin Drones, the latest way of responding to certain calls -- including home alarms being set off and accidents — is by air and within a matter of seconds.

"Now, we can have part of our first responding, in this case a drone, on scene overhead in 15 to 20 seconds," Schultz said.

In addition to the faster response time, the drone is also well-equipped and can stream back video in real time.

"The software that we built allows any first responders to get a live overhead view of an emergency before they actually arrive," CEO of Paladin Drones Divyaditya Shrivastava said.

The onboard camera is also able to provide help in the dark.

"Incidents at night or an incident where there are fire, that thermal camera can actually pick up heat signatures," Shrivastava said.

"(It's) pretty unique technology," Mark Kobelan said.

Kobelan, the mayor of Piney Point Village, recently had to call police for a possible suspicious person. Within seconds, a drone was overhead.

"I think it’s fabulous. It protects the police, and it protects the citizens. If I was a bad guy, I’d be thinking twice about coming to Piney Point Village," Kobelan said.

Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.