Brookhaven, GA, May 24, 2017 – by Trey Benton – The City of Brookhaven Police Department(BPD) can now pursue a grant that Firehouse Subs provides to Public Safety Departments, a grant awarded annually to first responders to aid in obtaining items such 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.
BPD says if they get the grant (no guarantees) they would use the money to purchase two drones to provide more efficient searches for missing and wanted persons. The amount requested for the drones is $12,573, and no matching funds are required.
Police Chief Gary Yandura told The Post the use of drones is becoming a very useful tool in searching for missing / wanted persons by other agencies. Brookhaven hopes to become one of those agencies utilizing the technology.
Of the two drones Brookhaven Police have identified, one is a DJI Industries Phantom Pro Drone, a smaller model that is equipped with a high definition camera and can be deployed by a single person. BPD says it would be carried by the department’s Patrol Division in the event rapid deployment was needed 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.
Around the Brookhaven area, law enforcement agencies such as the Dunwoody Police Department already use drones. They began using them in 2016, once Officers were trained. Earlier this month, Sandy Springs Councilmembers approved adding a drone to their Police Department’s tool kit.
Councilmembers voted to approve the request unanimously, a request that was part of a larger Consent Agenda.