Claremore Police Use Drones To Help Officers

Tuesday, August 6th 2019, 11:02 pm
By: Justin Shrair

The Claremore Police Department is now using drones to help officers in the field, track down suspects, and even reconstruct accidents. 

It can take up to an hour to get a helicopter to Claremore from Tulsa. With the use of these drones, officers can have eyes in the sky in less than a minute.

"Cover a lot more ground that we don't have to cover on foot. It reduces the liability on Officers as far as getting into a situation out in the middle of the woods," said Patrol Officer Donald Thirion, from the Claremore Police Department who also pilots the drones.

The department now has three drones. A small, medium, and a large one used in collaboration with Claremore Electric, who also donated money to help pay for one of them.

Thirion said the drones can be a life-saver for officers and eliminate threats.

“To eliminate the need for officers to physically go into a building where there could be somebody potentially armed and dangerous," said Thirion.

Thirion showed News On 6 the smallest drone, which has a high definition camera and can be used with software to help with crash investigations. The medium sized drone can fly inside buildings, has a thermal camera and the large drone has four cameras, including a FLIR camera which is essentially night vision.

"If they get into a situation where they are in harms way or somebody's got rifles, they can see that before they get in that situation," said Charles Czapansky who lives in the area.

Thirion said while there are specific rules and regulations in place of where and when the drones and fly, he is confident they will be a game changer in police work. 

"The capabilities of these drones are almost endless," he said.

Those drones were expensive, the two smaller ones cost about $4 thousand and the large one, about $27 thousand.