Huntington Beach police want to use a drone in a yearlong public safety test program

The Huntington Beach Police Department is seeking approval from the city for a one-year pilot program to learn how a drone can be used for public safety.
(AFP / Getty Images)

The Huntington Beach Police Department is seeking the City Council’s approval Monday for a one-year pilot program to learn how a drone could be used for public safety.

The drone would enhance public safety and the pilot program would include joint training and testing exercises with the fire department and Marine Safety Division, police Chief Robert Handy wrote to the council.

Drones are used in crime scene and traffic collision photography; tactical deployments involving SWAT, shark detection and missing persons searches; and to assess structure fires and natural disasters with aerial photography, according to Handy’s report.

Partial funding would come from the 2017-18 budget with additional funding, if necessary, from next year’s budget to purchase a drone and train personnel.

The pilot program isn’t designed to conduct surveillance, Handy wrote. All drone use will be documented. At the end of the year, police and fire chiefs will report to the City Council on the pros and cons of the program.

Building inspection services

In other business Monday, the council will consider awarding a $562,500, three-year contact to Orange-based CSG Consultants, Inc. to help city staff meet the demand for building inspection services.

The city’s building division had 12 building inspectors before it was reduced to nine in 2008. According to the staff report, the Building Division decided contracting inspectors instead of hiring was best, based on the economy and volume of work since 2010.

Huntington Beach previously approved a three-year contract with CSG in 2015.

Crossing guard services

The City Council also will consider a three-year contract with a possible two-year extension with Santa Fe Springs-based crossing guard company All City Management Services.

According to the agenda, the proposed contract will lock in the hourly rate for 2018-20 at $18.87 at 3.5 hours per guard and for 2020-21 at $20.17 at 3.5 hours per guard.

All City Management Services currently provides service for Huntington Beach at 31 locations.

Twitter: @vegapriscella