VIDEO: For first responders, an eye in the sky or a canary in the coal mine could mean the difference between life and death.
Units like the Lake County Public Safety Unmanned Response or Drone Team provide just such a service, venturing ahead and providing a first look or acting as a guide on traitorous calls.
“It’s grown, all of the ways that we could use these aircraft, honestly, to protect our people and, more importantly, serve the public,” said officer in charge of the team, Scott Mlakar. “A drone is a lot more cost-effective and a lot more effective because we can fly it at lower altitudes.”
The 24-person unit, composed of police officers and firefighters, runs through nearly a month of studying to prepare for a licensing exam before the work begins on training to fly the drones.