YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The Yorktown Police Department is about to reach new heights without ever stepping off the ground.
The addition of a DJI Inspire 1 drone, given to the department by the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, will offer an extra pair of eyes and a bird’s eye view of crime scenes, accidents and public events.
Chief of Police Robert Noble presented the chamber a certificate of appreciation for its donation of the drone, which retails for about $5,100. The award was accepted by Eric DiBartolo, president of the chamber, and Sergio Esposito, vice president, at the Jan. 17 town board meeting.
“It’s this type of support that lets us serve the town better; it makes us a better police department,” Noble said.
He said the drone will be implemented in instances of missing persons, barricades, burglaries and more, once the proper licensing and training is completed. He plans to have a small team trained in operating the drone confidently, under the direction of Det. Timothy Tausz.
The idea to buy the drone came to DiBartolo after a conversation he had with Noble at the Feast of San Gennaro, where a drone could be seen flying overhead. According to Esposito, Noble told DiBartolo the police department could use something like that and the idea took off from there.
Esposito said this particular model’s capabilities include a maximum speed of 67 mph, dual in-flight cameras and the ability to record high-resolution video.
The chamber used funds raised from the Yorktown Street Fair to buy the drone, DiBartolo said. Each year, proceeds from the event are either given or used in a way that benefits the community. Donations in past years have gone to organizations such as Relay for Life and Support Connection. Three years ago, the money was used for iPads containing floor plans of the town’s buildings for the police department.
“We’re extremely honored and we are so pleased to be able to do something like this,” DiBartolo said. He added that it is the chamber’s intention to not only support the town’s businesses, but the entire community.
Noble said the department views the chamber as a partner in the community and cited last year’s charity baseball game in which the Yorktown Police Department and the 12U Yorktown Warriors squared off at Navajo Fields. Proceeds from the event, organized by Esposito and Dr. Rodd Stein, afforded the chamber the ability to send two families to Camp Sunshine, a Casco, Maine, facility that provides children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a year-round retreat. The cost of sending two families is about $5,000.
“I am constantly impressed by this police department and their willingness to contribute and to help out and the fine job that they do,” Esposito said.