WPD to use drones to help preserve PPE supplies

Updated: May. 18, 2020 at 7:04 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Drone technology could help police officers keep an eye on situations and cut down on the use of personal protective equipment, according to city leaders.

PPE has become an important commodity for first responders during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, Wilmington City Council is expected to authorize the police department to apply for a federal grant under the Coronavirus Emergency Program. According to notes supplied to council, the more than $234,000 grant will help the department purchase an ultraviolet light sterilization chamber, first aid kits and eight drones. City manager Sterling Cheatham says those drones will let officers observe activity in real time without having to get involved directly. In turn, that will help preserve the PPE supply.

The agenda item is part of the consent agenda, which is approved with other items without public discussion. Council meets Tuesday evening.

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