Crime-fighters in Lackawanna County received a new tool Tuesday to help keep people safe.
An environmental company from Jefferson Township donated a drone to the Lackawanna County SWAT Team to use in high-risk incidents.
As drones become more popular with the public, police departments and other agencies are also recognizing their value.
SCE Environmental Group helped ease the financial burden of buying a drone for the Lackawanna County SWAT Team Tuesday morning.
The new drone weighs less than five pounds and will help the agency embrace changing technology.
“There’s so many different pieces of equipment that we have that are electronic that give us different views, robots and the drone now. It’s just a different tool for us to have,” Lackawanna County SWAT team commander Jim Decker said.
SWAT team members have specialized skills to help in hostage and other incidents.
They could be called at any time of the day.
With the help of the drone’s camera, officers could now get a first look at potentially dangerous situations.
“It does a remarkable job. If you were to see the video coming off that drone you would swear it was on a platform up there it’s so stable,” Bruce Morgan with SCE Environmental Group said.
One member assigned to the SWAT team has a certified pilot’s license and will be able to handle drone duties.
It will also be available to local police departments for large events or other emergencies.
“If we had somebody that was lost in the woods we’d be able to send this out and be able to send it out a mile or so to get a ‘birds eye view’ so to say,” Archbald Police Chief Tim Trently said.
SWAT team members say donations like this are critical and they can’t thank the community enough.
“We just had a vest replacement project and our team is getting all new vests. You just can’t imagine all the support we get from the community,” Decker said.
SCE Environmental Group says the drone cost more than $1,000 but the company was happy to help because they have also donated IPads and tasers to other departments in the past.