Both the police and fire departments have four employees each who are trained in how to operate the aircraft and members of both departments also are trained as visual observers, he said.
Local VFW Post 3438 contributed $3,000 toward the expense.
“We really appreciate the VFW coming along side us and stepping forward and helping us with this endeavor,” Woodard said.
City council recognized the VFW post Tuesday for its contribution to the drone program.
Joe Ketring, a past post commander, said “the VFW, being a veterans organization, part of our projects are to help the communities.”
The VFW previously aided the city by purchasing the fire department’s fire extinguisher trainer, which the department has used “quite extensively,” Barnett said.
“We like doing it,” Ketring told city council. “If you need something, come see us and we’ll see if we can help.”
Barnett said the drones also can benefit the city’s service department, which could take a peek at the city’s water tower, antennae or scalable parcel of land, instead of having an employee climb the structure.
“There’s a lot of ideas that can be used in that outside of the emergency services,” he said. “I think we’ll get good use out of these.”
The drones are even helping outside the community, Woodward said.
“We’ve already gotten contacted by two surrounding jurisdictions within the last month for requests for use of our drone to help them out with a couple of different situations,” he said. “One was a lost adult, an Alzheimer’s patient, and another one was a traffic stop.”