NSP debuts drone program to help crash investigations

(PHOTO: Nebraska State Patrol)
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A new drone program by the Nebraska State Patrol has already exceeded expectations.

The drone program was intended to help clear the roads while investigating a crash and crash reconstruction. Investigators of the program have all finished the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 certification as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operators and also went through more training on using the UAVs for 3-D mapping of crashes.

“This is a major step for our team, combining new technology with the expertise already possessed by our crash reconstruction investigators,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “The goal of this program is to be able to clear crash scenes faster while maintaining the high-level of investigations our troopers already perform. Clearing a scene faster means roads can open sooner, saving time and money for travelers and the trucking industry, and hopefully preventing secondary crashes.”

Officials say the drone program has already been used in car crash investigations throughout Nebraska and there are 19 certified drone pilots.

“This technology brings NSP crash investigations to a new level,” said Lieutenant Brent Bockstadter, program coordinator. “Our investigators work to create the best possible visual representation of a crash scene. The new drones, coupled with state-of-the-art mapping systems, allow our investigators to gather investigative images and data in less than half the time it used to take.”

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