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Homer Police Demonstrates New Drone For Homer Fire Department


On Wednesday evening at the back of the Homer Fire Station, the Village of Homer Police Department demonstrated their new drone to members of the department which will help in the search for missing people, finding hotspots during a fire, and provide an aerial vantage point in situations.

Homer Police Officer Brewster is one of the officers in the department certified to operate the drone and provided some details on the capabilities of it including: Heat vision, an altitude of 400 feet, infrared, range of about 3 miles, visual blinking status light for night operations, and more.

“You can do a side by side version with heat vision, multiple different kinds of camera angles so you can actually have different [views].” Officer Brewster said to members of the Homer Fire Department.

He continued the drone must have a visual observer and always must be in the operator’s line of sight. Any type of operation the drone is in will be required to have one qualified observer.

The drone is also built to automatically return to the location where it took off if there is an issue with the connection from the remote controller, or the operator pushed the return button. A GPS is also built into the drone, where operators can create a pre-set plan to where the drone can go.

Priorities for the drone will be with assistance in locating missing persons, alerting first responders of potential traffic build up on road, particularly I81, finding heat signatures in buildings where a fire has occurred, and other emergency situations.

Homer Police Chief Pitman gave details of what to do in the situation when the Homer Fire Department is assisting in locating a lost person and how to make use of the resource.

“I’ve two officers right now, full time officers, that are certified drone pilots. I’m working on a third [officer] right now and eventually a fourth. So we’re trying to get 24 hour coverage.” Chief Pitman said.


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