Both Stafford and Long Beach Township police departments purchased industrial-grade drones this year, and already they have proven helpful in locating missing persons and in other law enforcement applications.
This weekend, in particular, has had local police drones busy searching for one Bu Quach, the 65-year-old resident of Manahawkin Nursing and Rehabilitation who went missing from the facility Friday morning.
Stafford’s Traffic Safety Officer and licensed drone pilot, Ptl. Justin Pascale, happened to be on duty when the call was received last Friday. While another officer began to collect information, Pascale right away started to set up the department’s DJI Matrice 200 series drone in preparation to send it up over the woods behind the nursing home. Weather conditions definitely were not favorable, he said, but when a person’s life is at stake, it’s an easy call to make. Using the thermal imager, he scoured the area from the air.
He requested Long