Grover Beach police to launch fleet of drones

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The Grover Beach Police Department has added a fleet of four drones to its force. [KSBY]

Grover Beach police are following other local law enforcement agencies in launching a drone program. The Morro Bay Police Department became the first law enforcement agency in San Luis Obispo County to add drones to its force, doing so in 2018.

Currently, Grover Beach police have three trained drone pilots. Police officials hope to train five more, so there is always a drone pilot on duty. 

The police department has a policy prohibiting the use of drones for random surveillance. Officers may only dispatch drones on calls and for particular reasons, such as photographing crime or accident scenes; search and rescue operations; SWAT incidents; and responding to illegal fireworks.

It takes about 30 to 60 seconds for officers to get a drone up in the air, Grover Beach Police Commander Jim Munro said.