The mission of the Lodi Police Department’s UAS or Drone Program is it to provide airborne support to police operations in a safe, responsible, and transparent manner to preserve the peace and increase the quality of life in Lodi.
Small remotely operated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also commonly referred to as drones, are an efficient and effective way of providing law enforcement critical information to respond to Calls For Service, emergency situations or to conduct criminal investigations. Some examples include; providing an overhead view of an area or incident for ground personnel, safely clearing buildings, providing detailed documentation of crime and accident scenes, and searching for lost or missing persons.
In April of 2018 the Lodi Police Department made a presentation at a shirtsleeve meeting to discuss the implementation of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for use by the department. City officials approved the implementation of a drone program and the department moved forward on forming a team of sworn personnel. The team has grown to eight members who have all earned their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) remote pilots license. The department's first drone is a DJI Phantom 4 drone that was generously donated by the Lodi Police Foundation. Since then the department has added two more drones. Since its creation the drone team has assisted the department in clearing rooftops, backyards, and heavily vegetated areas for suspects; and has aided the Lodi Fire Department during active structure fires for an aerial view of their fire suppression efforts in addition to finding "hot spots" with the drone's infrared capabilities.