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Brookhaven police credit drone for helping officers capture criminals

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 3:47 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (CBS46) - State-of-the-art technology is helping police catch criminals.

This week, Brookhaven officers used drones to arrest violent armed robbery suspects. The hunt to find 27-year-old Alton Johnson and 30-year-old Shyquan Collins didn’t take too long for Brookhaven police. Once officers realized the two accused criminals were in the area, it took them less than two minutes to locate the pair, thanks to their drones.

“By having that drone above at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter, we were able to get resources right where they need to be, at a moment’s notice,” said Brookhaven Police Lieutenant Abrem Ayana.

Ayana said their department grew tired of playing “hide and seek” with criminals; buying drones gave them a big advantage.

Once on scene, the drone transmits live footage to responding officers and incident commanders.

“Through the drone, we were able to do it a lot quicker, with a lot less resources that otherwise would have been necessary,” Ayana said.

At about $32,000 for the drone with special features, Brookhaven police say they’re the only department in Georgia with this technology. They say in 2021 alone, their drones responded to more than 530 calls for service.

Ayana says with this recent arrest of the two suspects accused of a violent robbery shows their investment is paying off.

“We know for a fact it keeps the community safer,” Ayana said.

Brookhaven police say, absent a warrant or emergency circumstance, operators don’t intentionally record any location where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.