SALISBURY – A specifically outfitted drone is predicted to fly over the police station on Seaside Highway subsequent week as a part of an indication of what may develop into the city’s latest legislation enforcement instrument.
Police Chief Thomas Fowler mentioned a Rhode Island-based firm is scheduled to go to the station to indicate what a police drone may imply when it comes to rescue operations, inspecting suspicious packages and even measuring seaside erosion.
“It might be a ‘good to have’ not a ‘must have,” Fowler mentioned.
The concept got here courtesy of Detective Keith Overlook, who attended a coaching session for unmanned aerial autos and thought the Police Division may benefit.
“I believed to myself, ‘It is a nice expertise,’ so I introduced it to the chief’s consideration and he agreed,” Overlook mentioned.
Fowler mentioned a drone could possibly be used not only for the division however additionally the city’s emergency administration operations and the constructing inspector. Officers from these departments and others will probably be amongst these collaborating in the demonstration.
“That is the primary time we’re actually having a look,” Fowler mentioned.
Ethan Cohen, president of UAV Look, a neighborhood drone pictures/videography firm, mentioned he may see how a drone could possibly be very helpful for a police division.
“It actually could be an efficient instrument for them in the event that they use it responsibly,” Cohen mentioned, including that an growing variety of federal, state and native businesses are deploying drones.
Drones have been the middle of controversy for years as privateness advocates increase issues about their doable misuse to pry into individuals’s lives. Drones have additionally induced severe disruptions at main airports, together with final month in London.
“There’s an comprehensible concern from the general public for privateness issues however all the identical legal guidelines apply to authorities drone use,” Cohen mentioned.
If the division purchases a drone, Fowler admitted there could be some who would not be happy.
However for a seaside neighborhood resembling Salisbury, a drone could possibly be a lifesaver if a surfer is swept out to sea or on the very least, it may assist ease seaside site visitors that clogs city roads on summer season weekends, in response to Fowler and Overlook.
“There’s one million functions for it,” Overlook mentioned.
He added that it’s too early to say if the division would buy after which function a drone program.
Employees author Dave Rogers could be reached at [email protected]. Comply with him on Twitter @drogers41008.