KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- As usual, residents of Kansas City are more than generous opening both their hearts and their wallets to help men and women risking their lives. KCTV5 News wants to show you how residents helped.
Sadly, Kansas City has endured the loss of several firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.
As a community, we’ve shown time and time again how much our first responders mean to us through fundraisers, benefits and just reaching out to families who’ve suffered unimaginable losses.
It was no different last June when the community came together again for one day to raise some money for supplies required to keep our first responders safe. Hero Fund USA held a telethon at the KCTV5 News studios and it’s already making a difference.
The Grandview Police Department was able to get its’ first drone. Sargent Martin Studdard says they’re just about ready to launch.
“More and more the drone is proving it’s tactical importance especially in police situations,” Studdard said.
Situations like crashes, so they can get a birds’ eye view for mapping purposes or for crowd control, so they can see exactly what they’re dealing with to search and rescue, the list goes on.
More than anything, Studdard says the drone will help keep officers safe, especially in situations like stand-offs.
“In multiple critical incidents, we have to get our officers dangerously close to the incident just to get eyes on and see what’s going on. Even if we're using advanced technology, like a pole camera or something like that, the drone takes away all of that danger to the officers because we can deploy the drone remotely and establish a presence, a police presence for that incident and keep our officers well back on perimeter and still have eyes on the situation and know exactly what’s going on,” Studdard said.
Grandview police aren’t the only ones with a new drone. Chillicothe police were able to get one with Hero Funds as well. Small departments like theirs would never have had enough money to budget for one and now they say they’ll share it with surrounding smaller communities helping even more people.
“We are the big city, ‘the big city’ here in rural Northwest Missouri so other counties and other cities will benefit from this. It’s like the sheriff’s office’s K9 program other agencies benefit in areas like ours we have to work as a team and utilize all the resources,” Chief Jon Maples, with the Chillicothe Police Department said.
Nearly 100 miles from Kansas City in the tiny town of Lowry City, volunteer firefighters got six ballistic vests to keep them safe when they go into dangerous scenes. Fire Chief Justin Norris says they would’ve otherwise never been able to afford them.
The Brown County Kansas Sheriff’s Office also received funding for a dual-band mobile radio to enhance communication between different departments in that area.
They released a statement saying, “We at Brown County Sheriff’s Office cannot thank Darrell and Hero Fund USA enough for their generosity and contribution,” echoing sentiments from all the departments that this wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of residents of Kansas City.
So, thank you Kansas City for not only saying you support our first responders, but actually doing so. You’re making a big difference.