CASE STUDY: SWAT Team Uses Drone to Locate Suspect in Woods

SUMMARY: Drones represent a valuable tool for police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to use when responding to dangerous situations with armed suspects. It is essential for SWAT teams to train with UAV's to develop tactical proficiency between the drone pilot and the rest of the team. PROBLEM: A 48 year-old Wisconsin man dialed 911 and told the dispatcher that he was armed with a 9mm handgun and ammunition and wanted to harm himself. After the call, the man fled into a wooded area near his house. When Sheriff Deputies arrived at his home, he started shooting toward them, sending bullets whizzing above their heads. He then began firing in all directions forcing the evacuation of nearby neighbors. SOLUTION: Two sUAS's and a manned aircraft were brought in to help search the woods for the suspect. One of the drones spotted the suspect, and relayed a live video feed back to the tactical commander on the ground. Based on the intelligence from the drone, two SWAT teams and a police K-9 unit were able to surround the suspect, and arrest him without further incident.

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