CLOVIS, California (KSEE) – More than 20 law and fire department agencies from northern and central California came together for Clovis Police Department’s first “Drone Demo Day.”

Drone technology is becoming a vital component of public safety and law enforcement.  The first drone program in Fresno County started at the Clovis Police Department in 2018 and now consists of 13 drone pilots and 22 drones.

“We’re using drones on a daily basis to search inside residences, to search inside vehicles.  We deploy them in all search warrants now.  It has been just an absolute game changer and a tool in today’s law enforcement world that we probably couldn’t live without,” said Lt. Jim Munro of the Clovis Police Department.

Lt. Jim Munro organized today’s event and six drone vendors were in attendance. One of the largest vendors in the United States was there and said they’ve been helping leaders serve communities since 2013.

“So, we quickly saw the opportunity in public safety and people wanted to integrate technology and it was saving lives, so the investment was there,” said Travis Waibel, the Founder & CEO of Advexure Unmanned Systems.

Drones can cost anywhere from $500 upwards of $100,000.  

The West Sacramento Police Department made the trip to see the drone showcase today and spoke about how drones give them the opportunity to help other agencies.

“We’ve helped support our fire department on wildland fires and missing person searches help gather more information about a situation, formulate strategies that prevent both injury to civilians and officers in some of these situations,” said Lt. Jason Winger of the West Sacramento Police Department.

While “Drone Demo Day” aims to spread the word on the importance of drones, the Clovis Police Department says the demo also spreads comradery and they hope to make it an annual event.

“We’re also going to network.  We’ve already met several different people from several different agencies around the Central Valley.  When we can pool resources and make friends, it makes for a safer community, honestly,” said Lt. Munro.