Over the past several months the Robinson Police Department added not one, but two new drones to their equipment list. Drones are a relatively new tool to the Law Enforcement world.
Drones can be used for various reasons such as taking aerial photos/video to aid in the investigation of accident scenes and crime scenes. In some cases drones, instead of police officers, can be sent into buildings to look for dangerous criminals. This would reduce the risk of injury, or death, to a police officer.
A very generous donation recently allowed the department to purchase a state of the art drone equipped with two cameras. One camera for high quality pictures and video, the other camera is equipped with flir. A flir camera captures heat sources and can be utilized when looking for a missing person or even someone trying to evade the police.
So far the department utilized the drones to investigate two fatal accidents, a semi rollover in Jasper County, and help locate a missing person in Jasper County. In Jasper County our drone was flown over a hazard material accident so emergency personal could devise a plan to mitigate the leak and contain the hazardous materials.
We also added a set of virtual reality goggles to the use with the drones. Operating a drone mission involves more than one person for safety reasons. Goggles allow one person to have control of the camera. Where the individual looks the camera will look.
Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates drones in various circumstances, we currently have four certified officers to operate the drones All four officers took a glimpse into the aviation world while studying for the FAA test. Once they felt they were prepared all four took, and passed, the FAA Small unmanned aircraft systems test. Those officers are Chief Chad Weaver, Sgt. David Marqua, Officer Eric Schmidt, and Officer Isiah Osborne.
We are very excited to have these tools . If any groups are interested in seeing the drones, and having a demo, would love to show them off! If so please contact 618-544-2217 and ask for Sgt. David Marqua.