Elgin police, fire departments to share new drones

The Elgin Police and Fire Departments offered a demonstration and information as they plan to begin using shared drones in the field this summer.

Prior to the Thursday evening demonstration at The Centre, Fire Chief Dave Schmidt said that in December the fire department purchased a practice drone and one that will be used in the field with a sophisticated forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera system. The camera cost $9,000 and the two drones a combined $3,000, Schmidt said.

The police and fire departments will begin using the equipment in the field after a presentation to be given the City Council either at its second meeting in June or its first meeting in July, Schmidt said.

Eventually, other departments might find uses for the drones, such as public works surveying its projects or the water department inspecting water towers and its sites.