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Scranton Police Officers Learn to Fly

JESSUP -- Scranton police officers are being trained to use a new crime fighting gadget.

The department has had a drone for a few weeks now, and a company based in Lackawanna County is helping them learn how to use it.

A parking lot in Jessup provided a place for practice. Two Scranton police officers are assuming other duties this week. They're learning how to fly the department's new drone.

Scranton police are the latest client of Dart Drones based out of the Tek Ridge Center in Jessup. The business trains drone users all over the country.

"We train police departments, fire departments, businesses. We get a lot of individuals who are hobbyists or recreational users. We're focused on just getting people implemented with their drones and using them the right way," explained Abby Speicher Carroll.

The officers will spend as much time in the classroom as they will outside this week learning the basics of the drone donated to the department a few weeks ago by Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Company.

"We're developing right now, a more in-depth, five-day training for police that would be mission specific, so if there's a missing person you would use this type of thermal imaging camera," said Speicher Carroll.

Only those two Scranton police officers will receive the training for now but the chief says he expects more officers to be trained and more drones in the future.

"This particular level drone is a nice entry-level drone that we'll use for crime scene documentation, search and rescue," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano. "It will be used for critical incidents, used for traffic evaluations for our events up on Montage Mountain, for the festivals, that we'll be able to see a lot more, and get into a lot more places that were maybe inaccessible before."

So, consider this the future of crime fighting.

You may be seeing more of Dart Drones in the future, too. The company will be featured on ABC's "Shark Tank" later this month.

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