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The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Officers from the Oregon Police Department, fire department, and Toledo Police Department have begun training to use new unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones.

Oregon and Toledo had initially considered jointly financing and sharing a more expensive drone that would have cost $75,000, which some on council thought was too expensive. In addition, there was some concern about sharing a drone if both police departments would have wanted to use it at the same time. Oregon found a much cheaper model and decided to pay for its own, as did Toledo.

“We’re getting ready to use our drone,” said Beazley last week. “The city ended up paying for our own after we found one at a better price point and we made the decision as a community that we wanted our own.”

Both cities purchased a DJI Matrice 100 model, which will be used for tactical operations, incident scene management, search and rescue, criminal investigations, traffic crash reconstruction, crime scene mapping and trouble spot identifications in fighting active fires. Additionally, the drones will be used to assess the need for resources and the extent of damages immediately after major disasters, such as floods and tornados.

City Council in July agreed to pay $35,499 to Toledo Aerial Media, of Ottawa Lake, Michigan, to supply the drone.

“As a community on the lakefront, this will help people stuck on the ice, and help folks who turn over in a kayak. We can also do a much better job in a potential fugitive situation, or a more dangerous chase situation. Those are things that will make a difference in a community. So many ways to use it. It’s important for Oregon that we change with the times and that we use more modern equipment. This will keep our community safe.”

He said the drone will have to be totally controlled at all times. “It has to be in sight to be able to use it,” he said.

The idea to buy a drone was brought up in the police department last year.

Police Chief Mike Navarre said earlier this year that the drone “seems to fit our needs very well.”

“It’s a nice tool to have to help officers in time of need,” he said.

“It’s new technology. It may be obsolete three years from now. But it’s not a large expenditure of money. It’s not what we originally proposed when we came to council. But it’s a good piece of equipment.”

 

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