GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department is getting more eyes in the sky by using Drone technology
The department is stepping up its drone team after launching it about 2 years ago.
They now have five team members who are all certified to fly both indoors and outdoors.
“We use the drone primarily for searching for lost subjects,” said Lieutenant Nicholas Preece. “Anytime you would want a higher view or a different view of what’s going on in a large area.”
Just this past summer, one of the drones was used to locate a missing elderly woman in need of medical attention.
“We were searching a large heavily wooded area. K9′s were searching the area as well. We put the drones up and were able to find the female in a short period of time after we arrived.,” said Preece. “About a half hour to an hour after we arrived, we were able to locate her in a clearing not even 100 yards from where we were standing.”
The small drone doesn’t just give them eyes outside, Lieutenant Preece said that it allows them a look inside buildings that may be unsafe to enter.
“Whether it be a barricaded gunman or an incident with a building unsafe to search for a suspect. We’ve been able to look an found out where that person is without having to put an officer or another rescuer’s life in danger,” said Preece.
The smaller drone also allows the department to speak to someone.
If they did find someone needing help, not only does it help them find someone quickly, they can also communicate with them.
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