Arlington PD Testing Unmanned Aircraft Department hopes to use drones in emergency situations by January


The Arlington Police Department is in the first part of its experiment in using unmanned aircraft to assist in law enforcement.

The department has been testing and evaluating two battery-operated, remote-controlled aircraft over a small, restricted airspace near Lake Arlington Dam, away from populated areas.

The aircraft are flown only for daylight operations and within a small, restricted airspace. The aircraft have to remain within the pilot’s line of sight and fly 400 feet above the ground level.

Pilots obtain the same license as a commercial aircraft pilot.

Arlington hopes to demonstrate the aircraft’s potential law enforcement uses. All flight data is recorded and sent to the Federal Aviation Administration for evaluation.

“All of the U.S. and the FAA is depending on our testing and experiment, our experimentation to create a model for law enforcement usage of these vehicles,” Police Chief Theron Bowman said.

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