Cass County Hopes To Start Drone Program

(photo by Jennifer Nichols)

Pictured presenting and accepting a $3,000 donation to help start a drone program in Cass County are (from left to right) Atlantic Fire Chief Tom Cappel, Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren, Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon, Atlantic Police Officer Lt. Devin Hogue, Atlantic Rotary Club Representatives Brian Harris and Ruth Sears and Atlantic Police Officer Brock Thompson.

CASS COUNTY – Cass County First Responders are hoping to start a drone program in the county to have another tool to help with their jobs. They contacted the Atlantic Rotary asking for grant funds to help start the program, and Thursday morning, Rotary representatives presented a $3,000 donation to representatives of the different first responder groups, including Cass County Emergency Management, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the Atlantic Fire Department and the Atlantic Police Department.

Atlantic Police Officer Lt. Devin Hogue said the drone would be equipped with thermal imaging, which would be helpful in locating things or people, and could be used in a variety of situations.

“It could be used in structure fire, it could be used in field fire, it could be used to locate a missing subject,” Hogue said.

Cass County Sheriff Darby McLaren said a drone was recently used in Shelby and Montgomery Counties when a dozen cows got into a corn field, and those looking for the cattle were able to use a drone to locate them in the field.

Rotary members said the program can benefit the public, and part of their mission is to support the local community.

“The reason we latched onto it was we always want people to remember that Rotary is about community, and is about supporting the people in the community whether it’s private industry asking us for something, whether it’s public entities asking for something, we are an organization that is here to support our community at large,” said Rotary Representative Ruth Sears.

“If you want to help out, join Rotary,” said Rotary Representative Brian Harris.