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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Police get set to press new drone into service

The Windom Police Department is on the verge of putting its latest public safety tool into place.

The DGI MAVIC 2 Enterprise drone was purchased this summer from Elite Aerial in Sioux Falls using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds appropriated to the city. It will help the department with such things as search and rescue, officer protection, instances when someone walks away from a nursing home, even accident reconstruction. It will be shared between Windom Police and Fire Departments.

The drone, which was purchased for $6,700, includes batteries, a spotlight, a speaker to talk to the person they are looking for and a beacon for night use. Under Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the drone can fly no higher than 400 feet and, depending on terrain, over a mile away from the person manning the remote control. The department’s license to fly the drone requires that the drone be in view of the person operating it at all times. The drone has a flight time of one hour.

In addition, the drone also has infrared capabilities, which is critical in search and rescue situations, and for fire department use when trying to locate hot spots in a smoldering building. It also can be used at night when looking for an individual.

For more on this story, see the Dec. 7 edition of the Cottonwood County Citizen and Citizen eEdition.

Watch www.windomnews.com for regular weekday updates at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., plus BREAKING stories at other times. Follow CoCoCitizen @CitPub on Twitter.

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