DINWIDDIE, VA – Advexure Unmanned Systems has been awarded a multi-year contract through an initial purchase of a DJI Matrice 300 RTK, accessories, software, training, and support services for $28,458 in a joint project between the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office and Dinwiddie Public Safety.
According to Deputy Sheriff Charles Lucy, the drone’s primary function will be for search and rescue missions. Dinwiddie County has numerous group homes and adult living facilities where people will often walk away leading some to pass away from exposure to the cold, or getting into bodies of water.
Advexure Unmanned Systems was selected for the purchase through a competitive bid process and has furnished Dinwiddie County with a complete drone system, camera payload, training drone for new pilot training and certification, support accessories, and training services. In addition, Advexure has outfitted Dinwiddie with DroneSense software, which is a management platform for live streaming and operations management for incident commanders to have a birds eye view via livestream during a large fire or other incident where an aerial view can help assist to direct ground units.
“Civil unrest has been going on in cities with large crowds, this unit allows us to minimize officer exposure if there's large events to allow us to put an eye on a large area without having to expose our officers,” said Lucy.
Usage of the new drone system could, however, not begin for a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the process of approving use. Certifying bodies that approve training credentials to operators of the drone now have limitations due to COVID. Standing operating procedures and mutual aid agreements will also have to be drawn before the drone is used.
“This will not be used immediately, this will take numerous officers to be able to operate and that will take numerous hours of training,” said Lucy.
Advexure has outfitted and trained departments on the use of similar drone systems to Dinwiddie’s along with many other public safety and search and rescue drones to dozens of counties in Virginia and across North America. Advexure’s Director of Public Safety Integration, Travis Waibel, mentioned that Advexure, who is headquartered in Los Angeles, has worked extensively with many departments and agencies across the state of Virginia since about 2016 to further the adoption of UAS in public safety. Advexure also works with Dinwiddie’s neighbor in Chesterfield, VA. Chesterfield’s Police and Fire/EMS units recommended the drone system that Dinwiddie purchased as they have the same model and recognized its quality along with Advexure’s service reputation and commitment to public safety.
“Virginia has been a state that has quickly adopted UAS/drones and has had a tremendous amount of success deploying drones to locate missing persons, reduce risk for first responders, and leverage technology to enhance the efficiency of public safety operations,” said Waibel.
Advexure also currently actively works with agencies in the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and with George Mason University. Advexure’s widespread network of partner agencies has enabled the formation of regional mutual aid response with UAS and standardization of UAS training and operations across the state.
Waibel added, “drones are just another tool in the toolbox for police departments and fire/emergency services to leverage,” and “the Advexure team enjoys seeing and hearing successful UAS missions and deployments from our partners across all facets of public safety across the country.”
IN THE MEDIA
The Dinwiddie Monitor: Dinwiddie Police purchase drone for search and rescue, civil unrest concerns by Zach Armstrong,