CHICAGO (CBS) — The Orland Park Police Department has announced it is the first municipal department in Illinois authorized to use a drone.
The department began the process of getting Federal Aviation Administration authorization in May to train and use the Phantom III drone.READ MORE: Dixmoor Boil Order Remains In Effect As Crews Continue Work To Identify Source Of Weeklong Water Woes
Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said he sees the main use of the drone in searching for missing children or senior citizens who have mental or physical issues. He said those types of situations happened eight or nine times last year.
“We had one woman who wandered away who had Alzheimer’s. She ended up in a ditch, and we found her, and she survived, but barely. We could have covered a lot of territory with a drone, and probably found her more quickly than we did,” the chief said.
Oher authorized uses would be in cases of man-made or natural disasters, active shooter-type situations, and traffic crashes.
“I don’t see that we’re going to be using it every day. That certainly isn’t going to happen, because the reporting requirements after using it are very significant as well,” McCarthy said.