Northwest Ohio police and fire departments training to use drones

Drones for Toledo and Oregon police department

[Editor’s Note: The Toledo Police Department expects to use drones for day-to-day operations, with one example being mapping traffic crashes.]

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For the last couple of weeks, members of the Toledo and Oregon police departments, as well as the Oregon Fire Department, have been training to use recently purchased drones that they say will help in just about every situation imaginable.

“This is just one more tool in the tool box that is going to help us,” said Assistant Chief Mark Mullins of the Oregon Fire Department.

The City of Oregon recently purchased one drone for its police and fire departments; the City of Toledo purchased one for its police department.

Chris Aldrich and his team from Toledo Aerial Media have been working with the departments to train them on how to properly use the new equipment.

“We properly train (the officers) to utilize them in a variety of scenarios,” he said.

The Toledo Police Department is expected to use its drone in day-to-day operations, for instance when mapping traffic crashes. Additionally, Toledo SWAT officer Adam Knaggs says the drone can be used in tactical operations.

“Barricades, possibly for surveillances and things like that.”

Assistant Chief Mullins says their drone will help during search and rescue operations as well as structure fires in that it will give a clearer view of what firefighters are battling.

“It’s so instrumental in making sure we have the proper resources — the right resources in sending our people to the right places,” he said.

“It’s really neat when we can take our skills and build a tool for public safety, that they can take out and use in the field,” said Aldrich.

As of now, none of the police or fire personnel are FAA certified as remote pilots. Once that stage of training is complete, the drones can be put to practical use in the field. There is hope that can be done by the end of the year.


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