Brick Township has been awarded a grant to purchase a new drone for the police department.
The grant will fund the purchase of a new drone for the township worth up to $10,000, enabling the police department to buy a higher-end variant. Drones specialized for police use range from types such as the DJI Inspire 2, which retails for about $7,600, to ultra-high-end models like the Matrice 300 RTK, which retails for more than $30,000. High-end drones, compared to basic drones, offer features such as advanced imagine, longer flight time and the ability to carry payloads and accessories such as infrared sensors and other tools.
The department has yet to decide which drone to purchase. The grant was provided through the state’s Office of Homeland Security. Brick police began operating a basic drone in 2017 and have utilized it in various situations, including search and rescue cases as well as providing overwatch and chronicling damage from natural disasters – most notably, the Greenbriar floods of 2018 – which can be used in future emergency planning and rescue coordination.
Brick Township has taken drone training very seriously, with officers who operate the current device having received specialized instruction and licenses.
Two Brick police officers have attended schooling at Eagle View Aviation in Farmingdale. After completion of schooling, the officers then passed a sixty-question exam that was administered by the FAA.
At the time the department purchased its first drone, officials said they ultimately were interested in expanding aerial capabilities to include features such as night vision capability and infrared imaging and automatic tracking. Features such as those are available in higher-end units.