Ardmore police deploy two new drones
ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — The Ardmore Police Department was approved for two new drones last month, and they’re finally in town and ready for use.
They’ll use this new tool in a variety of ways, but one of their main goals is to cut down on time spent on search and rescue operations.
“We’ve had elderly people that have walked away in the middle of the night; we’ve not been able to find them,” Chief Kevin Norris said. “But with this... with the thermal technology... we’ll actually be able to see the footprints where they may have been, if it is a short time.”
The department plans to use one of the unmanned aircraft right away.
“Actually here in Regional Park, we believe that we’ve had some people who are illegally camping in the park,” Norris said. ”And we have had several contacts about it with citizens and the staff that work here, so we’re going to be using that to see if we can locate their camp in the park.”
Although plenty of officers want to get their hands on the controls, they'll have to be certified.
“We have one pilot that has their pilot's license," Norris said. "For other officers in the future, if they want to become part of the unit, they will actually have to go through a program and actually have to get their pilot license to be able to fly this.”
The police department held a public forum in November, but after no one attended to voice any concerns, city commissioners approved this purchase.
“If it's for search and rescue, I've got no problem with it,” one man said.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said another. “Anything to help fight crime.”
The larger of the new APD drones has more capabilities, but the smaller unit is easier to get in the air for situations where speed is essential.