A drone alone

I've been reading about how the Scappoose Fire Department has become a regional leader in using drone technology to investigate fires. They're now involved in looking into last week's apartment fire over by I-405 in downtown Portland.

Bully for Scappoose, but why is that tiny outpost the hub of this activity? Why isn't the Portland fire bureau into it?

Well, for one thing, Scappoose is getting support from the federal Homeland Security Department, which during the Trump years, Portland would never accept. Indeed, during the riots of '20 and '21, I distinctly remember the city council member in charge of the fire bureau, Jo Ann With the Bullhorn, refusing to let Chad Wolf's Homeland Security goons use the fire houses. And so she sure wasn't going to cooperate with them on a drone program.

Not to mention that drones could be used by the police to watch people. Cue the Usual Suspects to start screaming about the threat to everyone's privacy. There are a lot fewer ACLU types out in Columbia County.

Before Hardesty, I believe the fire bureau was being run by Legend Dan Saltzman, and before him, of course, by Fire Admiral Randy Leonard. Nowadays newcomer Rene Gonzalez has the gig. Maybe he can get a program going so that Portland isn't needing to call Scappoose for this kind of help.

Then again, in a year and a half, none of the council members will have hands-on responsibility for the bureaus any more. A hired city manager will be calling the shots. Maybe then we'll get our drones. Probably just in time to give us detailed images of the ruins that will be created by the dirty dozen bobbleheads on the new rank-choice council.


  1. It’s obvious that the Portland police and fire departments are smarting from being told that they don’t do anything correctly. Seem reasonable that they’re waiting for instructions from “above” and won’t take initiative on new stuff like drones.

  2. The “sh#tty” is not a solvable problem right now or possibly ever….
    It’s over for Poolandia.
    Maybe Hillsboro or Beaverton will take over as the civic center of western OR.. They have between them, a baseball stadium, a shiny new concert hall and an airport too!


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