Temple: Drone gives police an eye in the sky

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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) The Temple Police Department uses drones to help when they are investigating fatal accidents.

Photo by Tianna Jenkins

The department decided to get the drone about two months ago.

Officer Geoffrey Goodson says they use a Phantom Pro 4.

It's similar to what's sold at stores such as Best Buy.

He had to be trained and received his license through the Federal Aviation Administration.

It can be flown as high as 400 feet from the ground of a structure.

Once the drone is in the air, it's camera provides a bird's eye view.

Investigators areable to get a better look at scenes, cars and skid marks that are left behind.

In the past, the department used google earth images on which to lay their measurements.

The drone helps then get a more accurate reading.

"The way the city is changing with the road construction and all you can't pull google diagrams because they're six months old," Goodson said.

"Having that tool to send up in the air and take the photograph of what it looked like when the accident happened it helps drastically."

Goodson says using the drone has been pretty successful so far.

"I'm sure you have seen the accidents if it's out on the interstate they take four to five hours," Goodson said.

"The drone is there to eventually help reduce that amount of time."

They are hoping in the future that the drone will help them get the time down to three to two hours.

The drone does have safety features.

It's program to land where it took off.

Goodson says if there are any problems they don't have to worry about it falling out of the sky.

He looks forward to using the drone and trying out new software.