Drones and law enforcement meet

Published: Oct. 2, 2018 at 5:07 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

As technology advances, law enforcement and other agencies are gaining access to tools that can be used to make their jobs safer and more efficient.

And in Marion County, the Sheriff's Office is launching their newest technology -- the drone team. These drones will be used in many different ways, TV20's Olana Osborn brings us sky high to show how these drones will be used.

If only there was a way to have an extra set of eyes in a dangerous situation...

"Being a deputy on the road for years, I can tell you that there has been situations where you are a little nervous, a little scared to take the next step," said Public Information Office director Paul Bloom, "You don’t know what’s around the corner, you just know that there’s somebody out there that doesn’t want to go to jail, or they want to harm you maybe."

Well, Marion County Sheriff's deputies now have access to a different kind of guardian angel...It's a drone. The drone team can use these for missing persons searches, bomb threat investigations, and swat team deployments.

"One of the safety features we are looking into being able to send a drone forward, instead of being a human being, instead of one of our deputies to look around the corner for instance, 'is there danger on the corner for a deputy to make that next step?" Bloom asked, "Sending a drone up there gives us a quick review, and instantaneous view, and helps that SWAT commander make accurate decisions for the next actions."

These drones can fly up to 40 miles per hour, and go places that people can’t. So just when you think it won’t be able to find you, it can.

MCSO must acquire a search warrant before using drones around a house, but being able to clear an area before a deputy walks into danger, gives them some peace of mind in an adrenaline-filled situation.

"Having the confidence to be able to go get a little closer and say 'ok let’s go take a look around this building, and let’s go out here and look under those trees in this field,' or wherever we think this person is," Bloom said, "We can give that confidence to say 'ok this area has been cleared.'"

Using a helicopter costs nearly $350 an hour...so drones are also more cost effective in searches. The drones can fly in tough wind conditions and are able to continually search for about an hour and a half.