Martin Auto Group recognized for Splendora PD drone purchase

Pictured left to right are Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat, Councilman David Aden, Councilman Alton Delaney, Mayor Dorothy Welch, Salas, Councilwoman Evelyn Myers, Councilwoman Robin Hood and Councilman Mike Clark.

By Vanesa Brashier,

Martin Auto Group of Cleveland was in the spotlight at the June 17 regular meeting of the Splendora City Council after the three Martin dealerships – Martin Chevrolet Buick GMC, Martin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Martin Power Sports – pooled resources to purchase a $4,800 drone for Splendora Police Department.

Joe Salas, representing Martin Auto Group, accepted a certificate of appreciation from Mayor Dorothy Welch, Police Chief Wally Wieghat and the council members.

The drone – a DJI Matrice Enterprise – is designed to fly in enclosed buildings such as schools. In a worst-case scenario where an active shooter is on a campus, the drone may help law enforcement locate and target a threat.

“The drone has special sensors that help it navigate in buildings,” said Lt. James “Troy” Teller, spokesperson for Splendora Police Department.

The drone was recently used in the May 29 shooting incident in Cleveland, where four people were shot, including Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Whitten. It also was flown along the beaches in Texas City during the search for Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed who died in a boating accident earlier this month.

Two Splendora police officers – Capt. Alex Hadrych and Officer Ray Hardin – are trained and have licenses through the FAA to operate a drone.

“We want to extend our sincere appreciation to Martin Auto Group for the partnership with Splendora Police Department,” Teller said.

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