Guest Speakers: Lieutenant Mercado & Sargent Morris | Corona, CA

Speakers for  Wed. May 1st. were none other than Corona’s finest, Lieutenant Mercado and Sargent Morris from Corona Police Department.  These two gentleman are part of  the department’s  UAS team.  This stands for unmanned aerial systems, also known as drones.  This enhancement for the department started this past Feb. 2019.  Sargent Morris is a drone pilot.   The UAS pilot’s were chosen from patrol and are highly trained in UAS technology.  It requires 56 hours of highly specialized pilot training.  The team is called in to assist with special ops missions, and emergencies.  They also assist in searching for suspects, missing persons and help with the mapping of accident scenes.  Drones are also used in search and rescue missions.  They will be partnering with the Corona Fire Department in the future.  It is more cost effective to use drones rather than a helicopter. The drones use battery packs for fuel.  The length of the battery packs vary, some are 10 min only while others can operate for 38 min.  These packs, while being less expensive than fuel, can add up. The drones can be flown at night, but they require a light kit per FAA rules. They can also be flown in inclement weather.  Drones help in real time intelligence gathering which helps the officers on the ground with their planning.  This was a very exciting talk and the officers brought in a number of different drones that they use in the UAS team.  At the end of the talk Sargent Morris took one of the drones outside and flew it a bit for us and showed us thermal imaging of our little group. Thank you both, this was a very informative talk.  Good to know our CPD is advancing with new and exciting technologies to keep our community safe.

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Guest Speaker: Timothy Evans | Corona, CA

Our guest speaker on Dec. 19th was Timothy Evans.  Tim is the founder of a non-profit organization called The Unforgettables Foundation.  Tim started this Foundation in 1999. The mission of the Unforgettables Foundation is to enable low-income families to give their children a dignified burial.  Empower communities to memorialize children who have died.  Educate parents and children’s caregivers to confront, control and conquer the primary risks to our children’s health and wholeness.   And to encourage communities to recognize the financial trauma which is often associated with the death of a child.  The Foundation is entering its 20th year. They raise money to help defray the cost of burials for families who cannot afford it.  They do not pay the entire cost, but a portion of it.  The families help to pay for the rest. The Foundation’s help is granted to families across the Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange Counties in California.  Also in Southern Nevada.  Since its incorporation in 2000, over 5,000 families have been assisted in 100 cities in Southern California, Nevada, Ohio and Canada.   It was a sad talk today, but it was also great to know that this organization exists, and is there to help these families in their toughest, saddest days while grieving.  Thank you Tim for starting The Unforgettables Foundation.

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