GIPD demos new drone for community

GIPD demos drone.
GIPD demos drone.(Diamond Nunnally (KSNB))
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island Police Department whipped out their new drone for people to see on Friday including the donors who pitched in to help buy it.

GIPD’s new drone wouldn’t be here today, if it wasn’t for the help of the Hall County Crime Stoppers.

“They took the lead on that and were able to get us the donations needed,” said Capt. Dean Elliot of the Grand Island Police Department.

After hosting multiple fundraisers and getting donations from other organizations, they were able to raise more than $30,000 to help purchase the drone.

“It feels great to know that we were able to get it in time for the JBS fire,” said Crime Stoppers President Jeff Williams.

This new drone has proven to be helpful in other areas for the department.

“We’ve already deployed it 16 times in the month that we’ve had it and obviously it’s going to help the fire department, it’s already helped the fire department at JBS.”

Elliot said it will also be at disposal of other agencies if they need it.

“If an agency in Hall County needs it for a tool to see something like that, we’re going to be available for them,” Elliot said.

The drone is equipped with a high-definition camera that can zoom in 200 times to give officers the ability to see for miles.

“It also has a thermal imaging device on it which helps when locating an individual, a missing person in a cornfield or a heavy wooded area,” said Ofc. Bryce Collamore, an investigator for the Criminal Investigations Division.

Ofc. Bryce Collamore is actually the person who approached leadership about getting the drone. He’s also the first person to be trained as a pilot for the device.

“It’s pretty nice if you just let off the controllers, it’ll just hover wherever you leave it,” Collamore said. “It’ll also return to home to where it took off just with a click of a button.”

GIPD is working on training two other officers to become pilots for the drone. They have to take a 20-hour course online and then take a test in Lincoln to get their license.

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