Controversial police shootings around the country sometimes escalate after police mistake an innocent object for a gun.
One police department in Southern California says there might be a way to protect citizens, and police, in those moments.
Police typically use drones after a crime has happened.
But in Chula Vista, California, a drone is being sent out ahead of officers responding to a call.
Since October, the drone has assisted police in making more than 50 arrests.
As part of an integration pilot program, the Federal Aviation Administration has granted the first-ever authorization for police to fly a drone beyond the line of sight for proactive emergency response.
That gives Chula Vista police a 40-mile flying radius.
And when asked about privacy concerns, the Chula Vista police chief says policies and procedures should be in place to stipulate that it’s not utilized for surveillance.