When Elgin police crafted an unmanned drone policy for their department earlier this year, a process took place. Meetings were held, drafts were fine-tuned and residents allowed to weigh in during public forums.
As Elgin police officer Matt Udelhoven put it, using a drone isn’t simply learning how to fly the small aircraft. It’s about doing it in a way that the community knows department isn’t doing it without a purpose, he said.
“It’s one thing when the fire department wants (a drone) to check on a fire, it’s another when police want to fly a drone,” Udelhoven said during a drone training session Thursday held by Elgin Community College. “The public immediately thinks, ‘Oh, they want to look through our windows.'”
Udelhoven and two other Elgin police officers conducted the day-long event to help other first-responder and police departments, including those from Huntley, Aurora, Hanover Township and South Elgin, as they begin