RPD News

JANUARY 22, 2024

2023 Officer of the Year Award
Officer Trey Farabee was presented with the 2023 Officer of the Year Award at the January 22, 2024 City Council meeting. The recipient of this award is determined by a majority vote of all department sworn department members. Officer Farabee joined the department in 2022.

FEBRUARY 29, 2024

Proposed Unmanned Aerial Drone Program

In keeping with our mission of Community First through Service and Partnerships, the Rossford Police Department is in the early stages of instituting an unmanned aerial drone program. This technology will improve the situational awareness of officers in the field, and act as a force multiplier on certain types of calls for service. Specific law enforcement uses for a drone also include: search and rescue; locating suspects; crime and crash scene reconstruction; tactical operations support; emergency and natural disaster support; de-escalation; and large event over watch operations.

This type of police technology has the potential of infringing on the rights of citizens, so in the spirit of transparency, I would like to address some of these issues and invite the community to comment on any concerns they may have.

The best protection against any abuse or misuse of a police unmanned aerial drone is having sound policy in place. We have a comprehensive policy in our manual now that limits drone use to remain within strict accordance to constitutional and privacy rights and FAA regulations. The policy specifically states, “Absent a warrant or exigent circumstances, operators and observers shall not intentionally record or transmit images of any location where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., residence, yard, enclosure) …and that operators shall take reasonable precautions to avoid inadvertently recording or transmitting images of areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.” (RPD 606.3)

Our policy also prohibits the use of an unmanned aerial drone for random surveillance activity, to target a person based solely on protected characteristics, to harass, intimidate, or discriminate against any individual or group, or to conduct personal business of any type. We also plan to launch an online portal that would allow the public to see the date, time and flight path of every drone flight that is conducted by the Rossford Police Department.

We hope to have this program up and running by this summer. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone at (419) 666-7390 or by email at tkitzler@rossfordohio.com.