The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has officially cleared the program for the Walla Walla Police Department to implement drones.

The department issued this statement about the program:

"The drones were recently purchased and will be utilized to enhance the department's mission of protecting lives and property when other means and resources are not available or are less effective.

The department spent several months developing a policy that addresses privacy concerns. The drones will be utilized for search and rescue, provide visual perspective, scene documentation (large crime scenes or disaster management), and tactical deployments such as hostage situations or barricaded subjects.

The drones may also be deployed to provide situational awareness to assist command staff in understanding the nature, scale, and scope of an incident and allow coordination for an effective response.

The drones will not be utilized to conduct random surveillance activities, and our operators will follow the guidelines established by the FAA for operation."