Rockford police to begin using drones to patrol car crashes, crime scenes

ROCKFORD - Rockford police will begin using drones across the city.

The department plans to unveil its fleet on Wednesday during a demonstration. The drones will be used to investigate serious and deadly car crashes by allowing the department to capture video and pictures that would normally take hours to do on their own.

Officers could also use them for aerial security or larger crime scene mapping.

The drones were donated by Illinois Drone-One, Inc.

"We will still need to close roads to examine evidence at the scene," said John Pozzi, Assistant Deputy Chief with the Rockford Police Department. "However, the drones will reduce the process by several hours."

The department believes the use of the drones will reduce demand for police resources at crash investigations.

The police department's pilots are FAA certified and the department holds a FAA waiver, which will allow the drones to operate at night. In a statement, the department says it will comply with the Illinois Compiled Statutes regarding the Illinois Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act.

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