Williamsport Police to Fly Drone ‘Eye in the Sky’

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- A police department in Lycoming County now has eyes in the sky. The Williamsport Bureau of Police added a drone to its fleet last month.

Williamsport officers tell us they are one of the first police departments in the area to have a drone.

It's a very useful, but also expensive, tool -- something they would not have been able to afford on their own.

"We can literally use it in any situation where we want to get not just a ground-eye view," Agent Jason Bolt.

The Williamsport Bureau of Police now owns an unmanned aerial vehicle, better known as a drone.

The 9/11 Ride Coalition donated the camera in the sky to the bureau in early September and now police are trying it out.

"Not very many police departments have a full-fledged UAV program and policies. We are learning along with them," said Agent Bolt.

Agent Bolt says the primary purpose of the drone will be to observe a new vantage point that can help keep officers and people in the city safe.

"We can use it for search and rescue. we can use it for barricaded gunmen," he said. "For my own personal investigations, in working with crimes where people may discard evidence or people may have large crimes scenes, it's another way to document through photographs and through live view."

Police officers hope they'll be able to use it during emergency situations, but that is also weather permitting. If it's raining, they may not be able to bring out the drone.

So far, the drone hasn't been used during an emergency. The police hope to eventually add another pilot so the drone can be put to work in the city.


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