The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department had a new eye in the sky during an Oct. 13 standoff.
A man who poured gasoline on himself refused to leave his truck after leading law enforcement on a chase through North County. Deputies surrounded the suspect not far from Pala Casino, guns drawn. Several hours passed.
Looking for a closer view, the Sheriff’s Department debuted its new drone, which it acquired as part of a one-year pilot program that quietly began in September. The live footage aided a SWAT team in developing a tactical plan before approaching, and then apprehending the suspect, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.
But the pilot program, which includes four camera-equipped drones, has flown under the public’s radar.