HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Highland Park police want a drone to help first responders during search and rescue and missing person operations. Drones can also be used for emergency supply drops, thermal imaging and “identifying hazards in exigent circumstances,” Chief Lou Jogmen said in a memo to the City Council.
Jogmen recommended the city gets quotes to purchase a single drone, certify four officers to operate it and put a policy in place restricting its use for public safety purposes. He said the department has conducted research nationally and reviewed current policies and procedures of nearby police agencies.
The use of a drone can save up to $1,000 per hour of operating expenses compared to a manned aircraft, according to Jogmen. He used examples of searches along the lake in severe weather conditions, in areas inaccessible by foot and the ability of some drones to drop flotation devices.