Follow the response from other communities, Frandsen Bank & Trust has donated a drone to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
Corey Berube, the President of Frandsen’s Pine City office, said the idea stemmed from the drone founder Dennis Frandsen donated to the Chisago County Sheriff's Office. Frandsen saw what good they were able to do with it and reached out to other communities.
"We knew we wanted to do something," Berube said to WCMP.
The Pine City Frandsen Bank & Trust originally offered to donate the drone in June or July of this year. However, due to COVID-19, it was sidelined until Pine County Sheriff Jeff Nelson asked if the offer was still available a few months later.
"You bet it is. If it's something that's going to help the county, help his staff, and help our community, it's definitely important for us to reach out," said Berube.
The $10,500 Autel EVO II DUAL drone was provided by Maverick Drone Systems out of Savage, Minn., who demonstrated the capabilities of the drone during an event earlier this week.
According to Maverick CEO Adam Shaw, the company's beginnings with supplying law enforcement.
The drone is equipped with a thermal camera and has a range of up to five miles, so it can be used in multiple situations.
Up until now, the Pine County Sheriff's Office had not had access to drone technology.
"Having the opportunity to get one and getting a program started is huge," Sheriff Nelson said. "Were we can leverage that for public safety... it's going to expand our capabilities and a lot of what we can do."
Nelson says there will some training that deputies will need to do, but he hopes the drone will be in service soon.
Those in attendance of the demonstration include:
- Corey Berube
- Sheriff Jeff Nelson
- Sgt. Scott Grice
- Sgt. Patrick Ellstrom
- Deputy Zach Bettschen
- Deputy Brandon Sell
- Adam Shaw, CEO Maverick Drone Systems
- Deputy Joe Workman (FaceTime)