Kingston Police add drone footage to help with Smokin' the Water event security

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KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The City of Kingston did a few things differently at their Smokin' the Water event this Fouth of July - one of those things involved a drone.

The city kicked off Independence Day with a car show, parade, then BBQ competition. The competition is a new addition this year, but Parks and Rec Director Rick Ross said, it works with the main event's title.

"It actually got named after a firework that they shot at our show a few years ago, after the song, and when we went to name our event but couldn't name it after the song. The closest thing we could get was, 'Smokin' the Water.' With the BBQ contest this year, it played into it," said Ross.

Another new addition this year, was Kingston Police Department's drone. Thousands of people visit the area, only stretching about half a mile. Ross said, drones provide that extra piece of help.

"We rarely have issues here, but if you have a lost child or if you have an incident on one end," he said. "So to have those eyes on the sky is beneficial."

The drone is operated by officer Alex French. He told Local 8 News Reporter Sarah Jane Anderson, the drone is not used for surveillance footage, but more for helping officers decide where to distribute traffic direction and organization.

"It's basically like having a small helicopter that's able to see things that are going on that we on the ground can't see," said Officer French.

The drone will not be flying at night.