Appleton and Outagamie County Invest in Drones

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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - More ore and more communities are investing in drones to help them do business. Appleton and Outagamie County are the latest to send some of their employees through drone training.

Drone hovering
(WBAY photo)

The interest in drones and how they can help local communities is taking off. The City of Appleton and Outagamie County are currently putting several employees through drone training.

Bill Bongle with Titletown Drones is teaching the class that will leave participants with a license to fly. According to Bongle, "I can take someone that's never flown before, in three days they can have the knowledge they need to comply with the law and they can actually physically control the unit safely."

Chad Doran, Communications Coordinator for the City of Appleton, is one of the employees learning the skill. The city's drone is something that will be used by several departments for various reasons.

Doran says, "We'll use it for a lot of different things, just kind of aerial photos of the city that just look great for our website and social media. Our departments can use it for all kinds of things. Public works can use it for road projects, inspections. There will be a lot of different uses that we'll be able to deploy these for."

Members of the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office are also being trained on how to use the drone. It's a tool that the department can use for swat and standoff situations, or lost person's cases like it just had last week.

"With some technology like that we'd be able to put a drone up in the air with infrared and we could find him in a matter of minutes. It's something that's really awesome, really great tool that we could use," says SSGT. Ryan Carpenter with the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office.

The city and county's drones will be airborne as soon as its operators are all licensed.