Eyes in the Sky – New Drones Help with Security at Grizzly Games
Somebody's watching you.
Keep your eyes on the sky at the next home Grizzly football game and you’ll see two tethered drones helping with security and sanding staff to wherever they might be needed.
KGVO spoke with UM Police Chief Brad Giffin prior to the Southern Utah game, and he explained the use of the $150,000 security drones.
“Since we're having trouble staffing for security purposes, we've reached out to a company called Cloud Cover who's going to provide some tethered drone coverage for us,” said Chief Giffin. “The tethered drone coverage gives us the ability to have real instant actionable intelligence for any problems on the ground, either in the tailgate area or anywhere inside the stadium, so that we can effectively direct our emergency resources more quickly than we have ever been able to do before.”
Giffin explained how the drones communicate with UM Security.
“There are monitors at each station,” he said. “There's a communications device between the command center and the two monitoring drones and we have screens to watch. If we select an area where there's a problem they zero in on that so we can effectively direct our folks to where the problem is.”
Giffin said the drones have already proven themselves as a help to UM Security.
“We did use it during the Guns and Roses concert and it proved to be very effective,” he said. “In identifying problem areas early on we could address those problem areas effectively so they didn't balloon into something that they didn't need to be. And that's the sense of what we're hoping we're going to accomplish with this game and, and the next game.”
Giffin said the drones won’t attract a great deal of attention during the upcoming Grizzly-Bobcat game.
“You probably won't see them,” he said. “They're not huge; a little bit bigger than a basketball, but they do give us a lot of good high quality video footage for anything that piques our interest security wise. We want people to have a very safe, very fun football event and this just increases our ability to accomplish that for them.”
Giffin also thanked KGVO for airing a previous interview about the need for more security staff at the games, and that several individuals came forward to join the UM Security Team.