$2.1 million no-bid purchase of police drones approved by Elk Grove mayor, city council

EGPD special operations lieutenant Nate Lange explains the expansion of the
police department's drone program. |  

At last night's meeting, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved the city manager's no-bid purchase of a $2.1 million police drone first responder system. 

The staff report prepared by city management analyst Tamara Lopez recommended bypassing the normal bidding process and authorizing city manager Jason Behrmann to make the purchase of the Drone Response System from Aerodome, Inc. The system's cost will be spread over four years and is funded by Measure E. 

During his presentation to the mayor and city council, EGPD special operations lieutenant Nate Lange said the drone first responder program will enhance the city's existing overhead operation services, which were established in 219 by three officers. Among the features of the Aerdome system is that it can automatically be deployed for service calls, and the automated battery swapping system has less downtime.

Lang said the existing drone devices monitor and respond to calls for activities like suspicious people, illegal fireworks, code enforcement, and so-called side shows, and the new system will allow the expansion of the first responder program. He also said police personnel personally inspected many systems nationwide. 

The drones will not be used for surveillance purposes Lange told the city council.

"We are not using this for any type of surveillance technique," he said. "These are utilized only to respond to calls for service."  

There are 30 police department employees, not all sworn officers, that pilot the drones. 

"That is a distinction at Elk Grove Police you are not going to see at other cities," Lange said. 

No timetable for deployment of the new drones was provided. Lange said there are currently 15 to 20 drone in patrol vehicles available for use that can fly about one mile, compared to the Aerodome units that have a six mile range. 

Lt. Lange's presentation is queued in the video posted below.

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Juan Trippe said...

These no-bid contracts can become problematic. They can easily be used to hide kickbacks and payoffs for city officials, elected representatives, or both.

Golden Skillet said...

Will these drones help the problem we have of people running red lights in EG? The amount of people I see every day running red lights is baffling... I kid you not, last week, I saw someone run a red right in front of an EGPD car and they did nothing!

Deejay Blutarsky said...

I'm okay with it, because Councilman Robles said with his military background he was okay with it!

Sid Vicious said...

Hey Golden Skillet, are you sure it wasn't Council member Sergio Robles rushing to catch happy bour?

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