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Q&A: The advantages of an indoor tactical drone

A detective discusses his experiences with the Lemur S indoor tactical drone

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The LEMUR S tactical drone can be used indoors to boost situational awareness and facilitate suspect negotiations.

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In this Q&A, Detective Guy Kirtley, an officer with the Kansas City Police Department in Missouri, discusses the advantages of an indoor tactical drone and his experience using BRINC Drones’ LEMUR S.

What advantages do you gain with an Indoor tactical drone?

We are able to provide our tactical response team (TRT) live intelligence regarding the layout of the structure they are about to search without endangering officers or persons inside the structure. Any obstacles, barriers, or dangerous areas can be discussed, and planned for prior to entering.

Why did you change from your previous provider?

While the drones from our previous provider perform well in an outdoor environment, they do not hold up the ability to complete the indoor missions.

Why the LEMUR S?

Our department has been using drones for a few years now. Up until recently they have been exclusively used for overwatch, or the ability to gather intel from above. We had been experimenting with an indoor tactical drone program by attempting to use some of the assets we already had in inventory; however they proved to be inadequate.

Our drones at the time were equipped with obstacle avoidance and GPS assisted stability but those two factors make it extremely difficult to maneuver inside a structure through doorways, windows, and around furniture. The drone would be basically stuck in midair, unable to advance. When we found the LEMUR S, this product did not face those challenges for efficient indoor flight.

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What percentage or frequency of missions are you deploying the Lemur?

I’d say it’s around 50%. That number is increasing the more we deploy because the Tactical Response Team (TRT), and its commanders see the advantages of how helpful the LEMUR S is. Recently during discussions after a successful deployment the TRT commander stated he was very pleased with the performance, and suggested it would be advantageous to even have two LEMUR S available during their operations.

How is Lemur adding value to your priorities of de-escalation and situational awareness?

Situational awareness so far has been the greatest value, that in itself lends itself to de-escalation.

TRT officers are able to see advantages and disadvantages to entering and exploiting that information, along with negotiators in reasoning with subjects.

How do you know if this is the right tool in a given situation to use?

Every situation is different, and dynamic. We have deployed the LEMUR S into structures while suspects are still inside attempting to determine their location. We have deployed after the subject has vacated the structure while it is still considered unsafe for TRT officers to enter.

In my personal opinion, one of the most best uses is when we are able to use the LEMUR S to enter the structure prior to TRT officers, scout the interior, post up on a un-cleared stairwell, or entrance to keep eyes on any persons entering, while the TRT officers clear the pre scouted area. The LEMUR S then proceeds to the next floor and again scouts the area giving TRT officers live intel regarding the floor plan and structure. This leapfrog maneuver is then continued throughout the structure.

How has your customer success support been with BRINC?

Outstanding, they are easy to contact, quick to respond, and quick to correct and or help fix problems. They have proved to be willing to work with our department on connection issues with our video streaming system, and are more than happy to hear our successes and failures to help improve the LEMUR S.

Would you recommend this to a colleague or friend?

Absolutely, yes. Myself and my indoor tactical drone pilot partner have spoken to several surrounding agencies regarding the LEMUR S, provided demonstrations, and recommended the use of the LEMUR S.

Visit BRINC Drones for more information.

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