GLOUCESTER –Police Chief John McCarthy and Fire Chief Eric Smith are pleased to share that members of the Gloucester Police and Fire Departments attended a training on municipal drone use earlier this week.
Police Lt. Joe Fitzgerald and Fire Lt. Kevin Gargan attended a Salem State University workshop on Monday, March 11, on municipal applications of drones. The day-long workshop included lectures, discussion and field work with hands-on training.
The city of Gloucester is currently exploring the possibility of drone usage as a resource and shared asset to the Police and Fire Departments as well as the Department of Public Works.
“This training provided a great base knowledge of municipal drone use to Lt. Fitzgerald and Lt. Gargan,” Fire Chief Smith said. “As Gloucester examines the possible benefits of municipal drone use for several departments, it is great to have multiple city employees furthering their knowledge of how these devices function, the necessary steps for a municipality to pursue a drone program, and the possible benefits these devices may offer.”
The training was lead by Salem State University Geography Professor Stephen Young, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professional Richard Ames and Peabody Police Sgt. Christos Zamakis, who is currently studying drone use for police departments as he pursues a master’s degree in geo-information science at Salem State University.
“This training was comprehensive, and we greatly appreciate Salem State’s work in offering this workshop to support municipalities as we navigate this complex, new territory,” Chief McCarthy said. “Drones may become an invaluable resource to the city of Gloucester in the future, and it was great to give members of the police and fire departments the chance to expand their knowledge and gain some experience with these devices.”
Participants in the training learned about the current uses of drones for municipalities, how public safety departments and public works professionals can use drones, the different drone models currently available, necessary software to fly drones within Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, how to obtain a remote pilot’s license, how to acquire proper insurance, and how to set up a drone project and fly a drone.