– A good example here is Gerdrum. There, drones changed the rules of the game. We had drones from police, firefighters and defense who were constantly on the lookout on the edge of the avalanche while we had people down and looking for the missing, says Drone Service Executive Leader Jürgen Runge.
Along with many other incidents in which drones have proven to be very useful, the rapid mud landslide in Gerdrum has become the obvious answer that drones are a necessary tool.
Our work in Gerdrum has become the largest drone operation in Europe, and it has really shown the value of these operations, says Runge.
Since 2019, the police have had drones in three police districts, as a pilot project. Work is now underway to further train selected police officers from all police departments.
The police usually did not have much experience working in the air. Only the helicopter service we have in eastern Norway is, Rong says, but in the rest of the police districts they haven’t dealt with what’s going on in the air.
This is now changing. One factor in particular that Rong thinks is emerging is that the police are using drones.
– Perhaps this with internal security is the most important point here. We can reduce the risks of our crews in many different tasks, such as natural disasters and the search for dangerous people. We can observe from afar, so we can make the right decisions more easily, says Rong.
– An unmanned vehicle will also be assigned to all police districts. The vehicle ensures that the pilot of the drone has the stamina for a long time. Instead of standing outside and freezing, they can sit inside the car with large screens and get a full overview, says Rong.
The drones are paid for by central funds. Thus the costs do not burden the budgets of police departments.
Goes well with training drone pilots
In search and rescue operations, we know that drones will help save lives, says Per Øyvind Haugen, Police Inspector at the Police Directorate.
He stresses that the training that police officers receive now is not taken seriously.
The Police College has developed an educational program. We have selected police officers from all police departments, who will now receive training here at the Police Emergency Response Centre.
It’s going well. Moore og Romsdal, Finnmark, and Inlandit have finished their education these days and will return to their police districts with drones and unmanned vehicles. Haugen stated that there will be police officers who have received drone training in all police districts during the year.
Police officer Stian Helstad Henningsen in the Moor og Romsdal police district is one of those who can now call himself a drone pilot. He has no doubt that the drones will be a useful tool for his police district.
– It’ll be good. We will solve tasks more efficiently, Henningsen says, and get a better understanding of the situation, so that we can resolve police actions in the best possible way.
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