The Casper Police Department held a public demonstration of their new drone on Wednesday afternoon at the Lake McKenzie Dog Park.
Casper EMT participated in the demonstration to show the capabilities of the new tool.
The drone, a Phantom IV Pro, has a number of practical uses for police and rescue according to police officer Justin Edberg. The rescue scenario demonstrated the drone’s speed and maneuverability by speeding across the North Platte River and examining a cluster of reeds and grass on the edge.
Other uses for the drone include accident scene photos, which now typically require a ladder truck to block traffic for extended periods of time as investigators make evidence photos. The drone can be used to gather those in a fraction of the time and cost, according to Edberg.
Drone operators must have an FAA license, which requires a 20-hour class and passing an FAA test. Two officers, Tanner Rockwell and Lyle Berg, are currently licensed to operate the drone. The plan is to eventually have certified operators in all departments that can use the drone for more efficient rescue and investigation work, according to Edberg.