CHULA VISTA, Calif. — New video out of the South Bay shows the dramatic twists and turns of a chase — and demonstrates the benefits of Chula Vista Police Department’s new eyes in the sky, the department says.
Late Wednesday afternoon, CVPD released the video from an incident back in February that resulted in two arrests. The department says it did so to show how its drone platforms are helping fight crime.
The video shows a man on a motorcycle and a woman in a white car chasing him. At one point, the motorcycle speeds off on a sidewalk trying to elude the car. For several minutes, they zig-zag on several Chula Vista streets until the car corners the motorcycle.
Unbeknownst to them, a drone had been flying overhead, beaming their every move back to Chula Vista Police Headquarters and officers responding.
“At the time, all of our officers were occupied with other emergency calls so we didn’t have any officers to respond at first,” said Capt. Phil Collum of the Chula Vista Police.
When the call came in, a specially trained officer launched the drone while sitting at a desk miles away. “We can actually launch our drones from inside police headquarters to respond to emergency calls for service when there’s no officers available,” Collum explained.
The images from the drone led responding officers to the scene where the motorcyclist and the driver of the car were fighting.
CVPD has been testing the use of “Drones as First Responders” for cases such as this since October of last year. Its DFR program is a part of San Diego’s regional participation in a pilot program with the Federal Aviation Administration. Since the pilot program began, the drones have been launched 400 times to emergency calls leading to 59 arrests.