The slaughter of 58 attendees at a Oct. 1 Las Vegas country music event has prompted Indio, Ca. officials to employ a fleet of drones to help monitor traffic and perimeter conditions at this weekend’s events at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
More than 125,000 people are expected each day at the festival, near Palm Springs.
Indio police and 14 other local and federal agencies supporting them will use the camera-equipped drones for unprecedented aerial surveillance.
"Drones will be flying over watching the perimeters. It takes us a few minutes to get an officer to a perimeter breach but a drone takes 45 seconds," Indio Police Sgt. Dan Marshall said. "The drones will also allow us to monitor traffic better than before."
Marshall says law enforcement for the first time is contracting with an outside company experienced in flying drones to be responsible for the eyes in the sky. He says it’s less expensive than utilizing a police helicopter.