Drones help police and fire departments in Belleville school thr - KMOV.com

Drones help police and fire departments in Belleville school threat investigation

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A drone was part of the technology used to assist law enforcement on Wednesday as they investigated a school threat in Belleville. Credit: KMOV A drone was part of the technology used to assist law enforcement on Wednesday as they investigated a school threat in Belleville. Credit: KMOV
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

A drone was part of the technology used to assist law enforcement on Wednesday as they investigated a school threat in Belleville.

“It’s a fantastic resource,” said Belleville Assistant Chief J.P. Penet.

Penet controlled the drone on site for the fire department Wednesday as officers checked out the schools. The police department also had their drone on site.

Read: 'Relationship problems' prompted 'credible threat' at Belleville high schools

Wednesday, the fire department was assisting the police department’s investigation of a “credible threat” made against students at Belleville East and Belleville West High Schools. The technology was used to make sure the campuses were safe.

“Our job was to operate in the air and provide visual observations of the rooftops to make sure the rooftops were all clear,” Penet said.

He added the fact that both departments have the same equipment helps the two support each other during emergencies.

“We each have identical devices. When one is up in the air the other can be changing batteries and getting set and the first one comes down, the second goes up so we can maintain constant vigilance,” said Penet.

He said the fire department has had their drone for almost two years and six members of his department are trained to use it.

He said it can help in locating a missing person, battling flames and even during water rescues.

Fire crews can actually clip a life vest to the drone which can be dropped to a person in distress in the water.

This type of technology opens up a world of options for the local department when dealing with emergencies.

“It’s a much quicker and more responsive visualization of the aerial environment,” added Penet.

On Wednesday it added to the peace of mind that the schools were safe.

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