When revelers flood South Padre Island for Spring Break, the city will monitor them with a new tool: a drone equipped with a video camera.
Police plan to use the drone to search for missing people and assist with investigations by providing aerial footage.
"We can use it for beach patrol," said police Chief Randy Smith. "We're looking at deploying some that have a safety feature that releases a life jacket over a subject that is in distress."
The drone will supplement an already robust law enforcement and public safety presence during Spring Break.
Along with city police, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers, state troopers and Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens will patrol the city. Lifeguards and emergency medical technicians will be on standby. And two medical tents will provide services to anyone who falls ill.