(WJBK) - You can usually hear them before you see them, unmanned aerial vehicles better known as Drones, could be the newest tool for the Detroit Police and Fire Departments.
Assistant Police Chief James White says they are exploring the idea of using drones as part of their crime fighting strategy.
"We would be looking to just enhance our crime fighting efforts much like other agencies across the country leveraging technology to fight crime is a good thing," Assistant Police Chief James White said.
Across the US, more than 350 public safety agencies use drones. They have been successfully used to track suspects, assess active shooter situations and analyze crime scenes.
"If this gives us an opportunity to look at an area before we were to enter that area and push it back to real time crime so our officers know what they are getting into is something we would be looking into," White said.
On the fire side, drones give a clearer view of a burning structure and can be used to assist with search and rescue missions.
Charles Simms, 2nd Deputy Commission at the Detroit Fire Department, says the drones could cut down on injuries.
"It could give an overhead view of the fire to identify any safety hazards which could cause injury to civilians or firefighters. I believe it would cut down on injuries and fatalities."
The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA requires extensive training to become certified to operate a drone which applies to anyone with police or fire who wants to man the drones on the ground.
The initiative here in Detroit is still in the early phase - so it's unclear when you might spot them in the sky at a scene.
"Times are changing, policing is changing and we want to make sure we are the forefront of technological advancement," White said.