Wheeling Police now have a drone and five officers who are trained to operate it.

They are called the Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Team, or UART.

They introduced their drone to the news media with a scenario they made up.

There was supposedly an armed robber on the move in a car.

“A vehicle matching that description was seen coming up toward the Sonneborn Shelter of Wheeling Park,” said Cpl. Jason Martin, UART leader. “We located the vehicle, but no suspect was inside.”

The suspect took off on foot.

So they launched the drone.

It hovered for a few seconds, then rose into the air, looking like a dot in the sky.

Inside the mobile command center, they were watching on the screen, getting a drone’s eye view.

The fictional suspect’s description was a white male in a black shirt and a ball cap.

Soon they spotted him.

On the screen, they can see the angry man, apparently pointing a gun toward the drone.

Soon the officer on the ground gets him in custody.

It was a good exercise, and starting this weekend, they’ll use it for the first time in reality, covering the Tough As Nails event of the Ogden Wellness Weekend from the air.

The drone and training cost $40,000, and was purchased by the City of Wheeling with the help of a Justice Assistance Grant.