Chance encounter leads to presentation, boy’s designation as Corning PD “Honorary Drone Pilot”

CORNING, Calif. — A chance encounter between a young boy and Corning police officer led to a school presentation of the department’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drones. During last Wednesday’s special presentation the young aviation fan was presented with a number of honors, including being designated as a Corning Police Department “Honorary Drone Pilot.”


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In a social media release, Corning PD explained that several weeks ago, Corning Police Officer Portillo stopped and chatted with nine-year-old Ali Ben Lanes about the department’s new drones.

During a special demonstration, Corning Police Officer Portillo presented fourth-grader Ali Ben Lanes with several department patches, Corning PD Flight Wings and a certificate designating him as a Corning Police Department “Honorary Drone Pilot.” Corning Police Department photo

While talking to the fourth grader Officer Portillo learned that Ali is a huge aviation buff and was very interested in the new drones that Officer Portillo was testing.

That initial conversation led to the April 28 demonstration for Ali and his 4th grade class at Olive View School, where Officer Portillo, Officer Knight, and Chief Fears visited Ali and his classmates and gave a demonstration with one of the department’s drones.

After the drone demonstration, officers presented Ali “with several Corning Police Department patches, CPD Flight Wings, and a certificate letting him know he was an honorary member of the Corning Police Department Drone Team and honorary Drone Pilot!”, officials said in their release.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Corning Police Department photos

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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