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Company encouraging law enforcement and fire departments to buy new drone tech to improve safety

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 20:30:12-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - New technology could provide law enforcement and fire departments with round the clock security, infrared and night vision, according to Ron Lee, President of Tactical Drone Solutions.

He explained the Hoverfly is as easy to operate as an elevator, with a launchpad that includes a handful of buttons and a joystick. The tethered drone doesn't require an FAA certificate, unlike untethered drones, Lee said.

The tether is virtually invisible, three millimeters wide, but don't let that fool you. It is reinforced with Kevlar, a material most commonly associated with bullet-proof vests. The tiny chord serves two purposes, to provide power and send back information.

"There's no wireless transmission, no way anyone can intercept it and there's no one who can take control of the drone," Lee said that makes it very appealing to agencies like police and Customs and Border Protection. The Hoverfly already made an appearance at the Holiday Bowl Parade, helping Harbor and San Diego Police oversee the crowd.

"It has a topography of five million square feet that you can see on the screen," Lee said. The drone uses GPS to center itself over the platform and can go straight up 200 feet in the air.

"You can put cameras on it, communications payloads, you can put a lighting system on it, if you need to illuminate a certain area," Lee said it's able to fly potentially weeks at a time.

The infrared or night-vision essential for agencies to locate people in fires, or after a crime. Lee said it could also help locating missing people with Alzheimer's.

"[It's] less expensive, faster to deploy system than rustling up a helicopter and putting it in the air and of course the time on target and staying in the air," Lee said it saves time and manpower.

He said they're also in talks with CBP.