AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Randall County Sheriff’s Office is using drones to speed up many processes, mainly being able to locate lost hikers faster.
“Normally a lot of these trails your by yourself, and you don’t really see anyone for miles, so it’s very convenient and smart to do that because you know you never know with the heat index and everything you never know what could happen,” said Hiker, Becky Arias.
These drones are capable of flying in 40 to 50 MPH winds and light rain.
There are two types of camera on the drone, one has a super zoom capable of taking photos and videos if they are looking for something specific and the other will assist with flying at night.
“We also have another camera that’s a flair so that’s infrared, so we are able to look at body heat. So if somebody gets down in like a field out there, and they lay down, were actually able to get a body heat signature and were able to find them that way. So it’s useful in all sorts so if somebody is down in the canyon we are able to find them and if somebody is running we are able to find them that way,” said Sgt. Doak of the Randall County Sheriffs office.
These drones will also help to keep our officers safe during a stand off situation.
“There is open fields behind some of these houses, so it’s not just safe to put somebody to watch the back door when there is nothing to take cover, with this we can put it back and be able to watch the back without putting somebody in harm’s way,” said Sgt. Doak.
The Randall County Sheriff’s Office has two drones and six pilots at this time. They are able to always have drones in the air if needed, for example if they were patrolling an outdoor concert, they can have continuous eyes in the sky.
“We put it up in the air and if that battery gets low, the other drone can go up, replace it and this one will come back home and we can replace the battery so were actually able to have a continuous feed if we need to,” said Sgt. Doak.
Sheriff’s deputies want to make clear that they will not be using these drones to just fly over and spy on people. They will need to be actively looking for somebody, working a crime scene or have a warrant.
As technology advances, drones are a way law enforcement can help keep the community safe.