OSP uses approved funding to expand surveillance tech to Butler County

Ohio State Highway Patrol getting new technology
Published: May. 14, 2023 at 11:00 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) -The Ohio State Highway Patrol is planning to use the recently approved $6 million government funding to expand its aviation technology to Butler County, according to the Head of the Aviation Unit, Sgt. Justin Cromer.

Sgt. Cromer says that state troopers plan to use that money to expand their Downlink technology throughout the state.

“What we’re looking at on this is actually an expansion of our current setup, and it’s going to be nine towers throughout the entire state,” Sgt. Cromer said. “So the entire state of Ohio, with this funding, is going to be geographically covered using that Downlink system.”

The Downlink technology uses live feeds from aircraft in the skies, which help in investigations.

“Especially in violent crime details, they’re totally effective,” Sgt. Cromer said. “They bring to the table things that no other unit can, and so this is huge for us.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says he approved the funding on May 8 as a part of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program to help enhance the aviation technology, which is currently limited to Columbus and Akron.

“During dangerous and evolving situations, our OSHP flight crews have a birds-eye view of the scene below, but it’s just as important for on-site incident commanders to have this perspective as well,” Governor DeWine said. “By extending this live-streaming technology across more parts of the state, OSHP will better support local law enforcement during emergencies by offering them the opportunity to see the same real-time aerial views that our flight teams are seeing from the air.”

The one in Butler County will cover the City of Cincinnati and the Dayton area, Sgt. Cromer said. The tower will be installed before the end of the year.

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