Drone Program

The Hayward Police Department has adopted the use of small, remotely operated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also commonly referred to as drones, as an efficient and effective way of providing law enforcement critical information to respond to calls for service and emergency situations, or to conduct criminal investigations.


Unmanned aerial systems may be utilized to enhance the Hayward Police Department’s mission of protecting lives and property when other means and resources are not available or are less effective. Any use of a UAS will be in strict accordance with constitutional and privacy rights and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

HPD may deploy an UAS under the following circumstances:

  • Anti-UAV (Unmanned aerial vehicles) operations when a person is operating a UAV in a manner which impedes emergency personnel who, in the course of their duties, are coping with an emergency (refer to Penal Code § 402(a)1);
  • When there is probable cause to believe that the UAS will record images of a place, thing, condition, or event, and that those images tend to show a felony has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a felony;
  • Lost or missing persons;
  • Search and rescue events;
  • Disaster response and recovery;
  • Suspected explosive devices;
  • Fire suppression or investigation;
  • Hazardous material releases;
  • Mass casualty events;
  • Pursuant to a search warrant;
  • Mass gatherings or special events where security concerns exist or criminal activity is occurring;
  • Post-incident crime scene preservation and documentation;
  • Mutual Aid support when the underlying mission meets the uses outlined in this policy;
  • In support of the Hayward Fire Department when the underlying mission meets the uses outlined in this policy; 
  • Training missions;
  • Public safety and life preservation missions including, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, active shooters, apprehension of armed and dangerous fleeing suspects, and high-risk search warrants.

Privacy considerations:

The use of the UAS potentially involves privacy considerations. Absent a warrant or exigent circumstances, operators and observers shall adhere to FAA altitude regulations and shall not intentionally record or transmit images of any location where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., residence, yard, enclosure). Operators and observers shall take reasonable precautions to avoid inadvertently recording or transmitting images of areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Reasonable precautions can include, for example, deactivating or turning imaging devices away from such areas or persons during UAS operations.

The UAS video surveillance equipment shall not be used:

  • To conduct random surveillance activities.
  • To conduct personal business of any type.
  • The UAS shall not be weaponized.
  • The UAS shall not have facial recognition technology.
  • To target a person based solely on actual or perceived characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, economic status, age, cultural group, or disability.
  • To conduct routine monitoring of a mass gathering, protest, or demonstration where security concerns do not exist or where criminal activity is not occurring.
  • To harass, intimidate, or discriminate against any individual or group.

Read the full UAS Policy here

Questions or Concerns? Contact: 

Anyone may contact the UAS Team directly using the Police - Drone topic in Access Hayward.

UAS Frequently Asked Questions

Flight Log:


Case Number




06/09/20242024-3182413 minutes27000 Andrea StSearch for wanted person

Monthly Flight Log Archive:


Annual Archive

Background Documents:

Jan. 25, 2022 City Council Meeting

Adopt a Resolution and Policy Statement Regarding the Use of Surveillance Technologies and an Operational Policy for the Hayward Police Department's Unmanned Aerial Systems Program

Dec. 1, 2021 Council Infrastructure Committee Meeting

Review and Recommend Council Approval of: (1) a Proposed Council Resolution and Policy Statement Regarding Citywide Use of Surveillance Technologies; and (2) an Operational Policy for the Hayward Police Department's Unmanned Aerial Systems Program

Jul. 13, 2021 City Council Meeting

Adopt a Resolution Authorizing the Purchase and Adoption of an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS or “Drones”) Program for the Hayward Police Department (Report from Police Chief Chaplin - Report to be heard concurrently with LB 21-036 Informational Report on Data Transparency)

Find additional staff reports and documents in our Meetings and Agendas Center

Frequently Asked Questions:

For additional information and FAQs, visit the FAA UAS Info and Facts page on their website ►


UAS is an Unmanned Aerial System and is commonly called a drone. A drone is an aerial device with an onboard computer that is operated remotely – generally by a pilot on the ground – using a handheld controller. Small drones are battery operated, weigh less than 55 pounds, have several rotors like a helicopter, and are equipped with a video camera.

All video and photo evidence taken during any UAS mission is stored in the same manner and location as Body Worn Camera (BWC) video and other investigative evidence. HPD utilizes a private “cloud” service, evidence.com, to store all digital evidence. The service is authorized and certified under both state and federal regulations for the security and protection of confidential information and is available only for official law enforcement purposes. Evidence is stored and saved for a limited time (one year or less), unless it is categorized as evidence in an actual crime or formal investigation. Then it is stored for a period of time consistent with all other evidence related to that incident/investigation.

Video and photos collected by UAS are stored for the purposes of conducting police investigation and subsequent prosecutions. Accordingly, videos and photos are generally accessible to police investigators for official use only. Like all police records, video and photos may also be subject to additional release under the same rules and restrictions as BWC video and other items of evidence. Generally, UAS photos and video are considered part of the investigative record and are not available to the public under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) or Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For more details, and to submit a records request to the department visit our Public Records Act Portal ►

In addition to the training and study required to maintain a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot License, all HPD UAS Team members train regularly in a variety of locations and settings to ensure operational efficiency. All training is documented, and the records are maintained by HPD and are subject to review by the FAA.

Anyone may contact the UAS Team directly using the Police - Drone topic in Access Hayward.