Philadelphia

Montgomery County Shows Off Its Papal Visit Drone

A drone will be making sure everyone -- especially first responders -- is safe when Pope Francis is in the Philadelphia region next weekend.

Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono unveiled the unmanned aircraft Friday.

“We want to take every precaution that our bomb unit is as safe as possible when conducting their investigations of suspicious and dangerous materials,” said Bono. “The drone is a great tool, which allows the unit to gather preliminary information on a robot inaccessible site or object, before taking the risk to send in a bomb technician.”

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The Draganflyer Guardian quad copter weighs only three pounds and can quickly be dispatched if needed during the Pope’s visit to Philly and Montco.

District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman donated $10,000 for the purchase of the drone, said the sheriff’s department.

“Protecting the public is my top priority, and that includes making sure that our law enforcement officers and all first responders have the best tools available to ensure their personal safety as they undertake very dangerous jobs,” said Ferman. “The benefits to using drone technology in this limited way is that it maximizes the safety of our bomb techs, and enhances their capabilities without any infringement on citizens’ personal privacy.”

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