Iowa State Patrol releases materials on new-this-year drone program

Iowa State Patrol releases materials on new-this-year drone program

245 flights investigate everything from car crashes to search and rescue

Written by
Edited by Michael Morisy

Iowa State Patrol has recorded 245 drone flights in the last seven months, including 54 at the scenes of fatal collisions and 15 following crimes, according to its response this week to an Iowa Open Records Law request.

The agency announced earlier this year that it would be expanding its fleet for use in collision investigations, using photogrammetry software to get a 3-D image of an area in a fraction of the regular time used to investigate a highway accident.

ISP’s UAV of choice has been the DJI Mavic 2, which is also employed by the South Dakota Highway Patrol and Wisconsin State Patrol.

In the release, it provided its drone inventory, policy and drone manual, in addition to records on which officers had been trained.

MuckRock submitted the request for the agency’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) following the suggestion from a reader as part of our Assignment on government drone use (all similar drone requests are on the project page).

General use of UAVs overall is on the verge of expanding, following the Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) approval of Amazon’s delivery drones and interagency guidance on drones released last month.

Image by Rob Russell and licensed under CC BY 2.0