Okay, it was another Bearcat, not a tank. But still snicker-worthy.
County officials and the maker of that drone confirmed on Friday that a recent police-only photo mission went terribly wrong.
As the sheriff’s SWAT team suited up with lots of firepower and their armored vehicle known as the “Bearcat,” a prototype drone from Vanguard Defense Industries took off for pictures of all the police action. It was basically a photo opportunity, according to those in attendance.
Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said his company’s prototype drone was flying about 18-feet off the ground when it lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground. It’s designed to go into an auto shutdown mode, according to Buscher, but when it was coming down the drone crashed into the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.
It’s the exact scenario that was mentioned as a major concern when the Government Accountability Office studied the growing use of police drones in 2008.
Ever since Houston Police were exposed in November 2007 on a secret test of drones for law enforcement, dozens of police agencies have applied for drones to be used on patrols throughout the country.