Rescue missions aim of future air program

State police are tabling plans to put their own drone in the sky for search-and-rescue and other missions before it even got off the ground, saying other “funding priorities” have forced them to put the program on hold indefinitely.

The Herald reported last May that state police were soliciting proposals for a $150,000 unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, but officials made a decision some time in “late winter” this year to scrap it — for now — after getting one bidder and re-evaluating its budget, a spokesman said.

“There isn’t a plan that we’re ready to pull a trigger on,” spokesman David Procopio said. “It’s just a question of prioritizing spending. We think it’s a great idea and it would be an important tool for us. But in a review of what the most urgent priorities are, we haven’t gotten to the UAV yet.”

State police wanted a drone that could record and stream high-definition video, and track and identify the GPS location of any object in its view, according to a bid request obtained by the Herald. Officials also wanted it to be equipped with an infrared camera, as well as a standard camera with at least a 30-times zoom.

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