Cape Girardeau close to purchasing three drones for emergency services, city projects

Cape Girardeau close to purchasing three drones for emergency services, city projects
Published: Aug. 3, 2016 at 8:12 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2016 at 9:58 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The City of Cape Girardeau is close to purchasing three drones - one for the Development Services Engineering department and two for public safety.

The Engineering Department in Cape Girardeau is asking for a DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter for documenting city projects.

Public Safety is asking for a DJI Inspire 1 which will be equipped with thermal imaging. The department is also asking for a HexH2O Hexcopter to be used during imperfect weather. The HexH2O will also have the capability of carrying items and releasing them.

The whole process started after the New Year Floods that happened earlier 2016, when the practical uses of drones started to be realized.

A committee with members from the Airport, Public Safety and Engineering departments gave a presentation to the city management team. They went over different unmanned aerial systems and the regulations that come with them.

After the city management team approved the presentation, the Cape Girardeau city council approved the first reading of the appropriation.

Members of the Cape Fire and Police Departments say these drones will be put to good use.

"Some of our plans to use that drone mainly consist of for missing persons, or missing subjects in our area," Sgt. Adam Glueck with the Cape Girardeau Police Department said. "We will try to locate those people. One of the drones will be equipped with thermal imaging capabilities. So it will help us better able to get an aerial view of the location we think that person maybe in. Especially if it's a wood area, or some area where it's not easy to get to."

"This is where it's going with public safety," Dewayne McAlister with the Cape Girardeau Fire Department said. "Why not use a tool that we can apply? ...I know some people view them as a toy, but that's not the case."

The departments will have to comply with manufacturer recommendations with flying the drones, as well as Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.

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