Brookhaven, GA, May 22, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Brookhaven Police is requesting City Council approve the department to seek a Grant that Firehouse Subs provides to Public Safety Departments to purchase two drones to provide more efficient searches for missing persons and wanted persons. The amount requested for the drones is $12,573, and no matching funds are required for the grant.
According to the request, calls to locate a missing child, missing disabled adult or a missing elderly community leader, for example, are ones the department says they dread. “These calls require lots of manpower and use of resources, in addition, they can last days or weeks all in the fight against time to locate that missing kid or adult before something bad happens,” says the request. “In the urban setting, time and urban design are both obstacles. Building design, close spacing and height of buildings all have to be factored into the search for the missing.”
Of the two drones Brookhaven Police have identified is a DJI Industries Phantom Pro Drone, a smaller drone that is equipped with a high definition camera and can be deployed by a single person. It would be carried by the department’s Patrol Division in the event it had to be rapidly deployed on scene.
The larger second drone, an RMUS Public Safety Dual Camera Drone, would be equipped with both video as well as thermal imaging capabilities. This drone also is equipped with an attachable payload delivery mechanism. This allows the aerial delivery of items such as medical supplies to the missing person or to rescuers with the missing person, according to the request.
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Grant has supplied first responders with such items as vehicle extrication tools, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), bunker gear, thermal imaging cameras, automated chest compression systems, vehicle stabilization struts, bullet-proof vests, all-terrain vehicles and fire hoses. First responder grants are accepted on a quarterly basis and awarded annually.
Around the Brookhaven area, law enforcement agencies such as the Dunwoody Police Department already uses drones. They began using it in 2016, once Officers were trained. Earlier this month, Sandy Springs Councilmembers approved adding a drone to their Police Department’s tool kit.
Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura told The Post that he is unsure if his department will get the grant, but noted the use of drones is becoming a very useful tool in searching for missing / wanted persons by other agencies.
The Brookhaven City Council is expected to approve the request to apply for the grant during their Tuesday, May 23rd meeting.