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Sahuarita to become first Arizona police department to use drones

An Arizona city is trying something new to fight crime.

“Sahuarita will be the first Arizona police department to integrate drones into their daily operations,” said James Lawrence.

Lawrence is the CEO of Drone Control Systems, a company based in Dragoon, Arizona, which is between Benson and Wilcox. His company has just sold two of the drones and their monitoring systems to Sahuarita.

“We just officially started to train (nine) officers how to fly the drones and use the software,” Lawrence said. “That will be going on through the end of the year.”

The drones and their monitoring systems cost $5,000 each, but they can do work that, right now, requires a police helicopter that the police department can’t afford.

“Instead of having a $20,000 bill for bringing in a helicopter, the police will be able to use a small unmanned vehicle to capture that same data and same high-resolution information without having to pay the heavy cost of it,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence expects that Sahuarita police will be using the drones by the first of next year.

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