Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 08:01


The Pullman Police Department was interested in exploring the implementation of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also called “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAVs) or drones, have been in use by the military for years as a lower-cost, safer alternative to manned aircraft. The business community is incorporating UASs at a rapid pace. Law enforcement nationwide has begun to utilize UASs for the same reasons as the military: more cost effective and safer than manned aircraft and, in many ways, more versatile than manned aircraft. A number of law enforcement agencies in Washington State have already launched UAS programs.

Staff envisions UAS use in Pullman in the following ways: search & rescue, coordination of traffic (such as postgame traffic for WSU home football games), document outdoor crime scenes, document major traffic collisions, tactical reconnaissance, tactical deployment (SWAT), weather event reconnaissance (flooding), assist Fire Department with firefighting coordination and tactics, etc.

After this topic was reported in the media locally, WSU staff contacted us about exploring the possibility of collaborating with us on the development of a UAS program. Staff has since met with an Assistant Professor in Computer Science who specializes in artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous control, multi-agent systems, and robotics. WSU wishes to conduct research and provide assistance on the development and use of UASs by Pullman PD.


Request for Council Action (02/28/17)

Pullman PD Draft UAS Policy


Public meetings were held to collect input on this topic: 

When: Thursday, April 27, 2:00 pm
Location: WSU CUB Butch’s Den
Host: WSU Robotics Club

When: Wednesday, May 3, 5:30 pm
Location: Umpqua Bank, 225 N. Grand Ave, Pullman, WA 99163
Host: Pullman League of Women Voters

When: Wednesday, May 17, 6:00 pm
Location: Council Chambers, Pullman City Hall, 325 SE Paradise Street, Pullman, WA 99163