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: Ross Newhan | Corona, CA

Last week’s speaker was Ross Newhan.  Ross is a fellow Rotarian in the Corona Rotary group.  He is a retired sports writer for the Los Angeles Times. He had a long career there for 35 years.  Ross regaled us with stories of legendary baseball figures, that he covered while writing for the LA Dodgers and LA/Anaheim Angels baseball teams.  He also said that he got on Tommy Lasorda’s nerves quite a few times.  Ross also wrote about several Olympic games and several Triple Crowns.  He says he only had one job his entire career and that he was very lucky. He has always had a passion for the written word. He was the sports editor for his high school paper.  He didn’t have a clue what to do in life when he graduated from high school.  He started to write for a local newspaper in Long Beach. He began writing there and kept getting bigger and bigger assignments. He enrolled in Long Beach State, in case “this journalism thing” didn’t work out. When the Angels team formed, Ross was assigned to write for the team.  He got to meet former President Dwight Eisenhower at the Angels spring training camp in Palm Springs.  He ended up interviewing him.  Ross has too many favorite players to be able to pick only one.  In 2001 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in the writer’s wing.  He currently writes a blog called, Newhan on Baseball.  We all laughed with Ross that this “ journalism thing” ended up being a great thing after all. Thank you Ross for sharing your interesting career with us.

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