University of Arkansas Fort Smith Police using drones this school year

KNWA

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA) — University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Police will be using new technology this school year.

Drones will be used for mapping, parking lot and building assessments, large-scale events like graduation, and to collect various data.

UAFS Police Chief Ray Ottman says he’s excited for officers to have this knowledge base.

One officer and the health safety manager for his department are already certified drone pilots.

The university currently has four or five drones already, and will be purchasing more.

“We are offering a program on campus through a program for data analysis of drones. We’re kind of partnering with them and trying to getting as much data collected as possible, so maybe it can be used in the classroom as well,” Ottman said.

Chief Ottman says he expects legal challenges with the use of drones, but is trying to stay ahead of the technology curve.

He hopes aerial views of crowds and pedestrians on campus can be used for future planning, and ultimately be a safety measure.

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