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Dutchess Sheriff's Office establishes drone unit

Oct 12, 2021 5:30 am

MidHudson News is reporting the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office has established an Unmanned Aircraft, or drone, Unit. The unmanned vehicles have been deployed several times for search and rescue operations, including an incident in July on the Ten Mile River in Wassaic. During that effort to save two people stranded in a rain-swollen river, a sheriff’s drone was deployed to assess potential hazards and guide rescue swimmers to the stranded victims. The idea to deploy drones was brought to the agency approximately five years ago by a member of the department. The drones were initially used primarily for accident reconstruction investigations, but the unit has been deployed many times to help with missing person cases, to assess storm damage and to give detectives an aerial view of crime and accident scenes. According to the department, roughly 40 percent of the police agencies in the country now possess at least one drone. The drones are not used for surveillance purposes, according to the department. The UAS unit is currently looking to replace its existing fleet with newer models. “We are currently seeking alternative funding to replace our six drones. Because we have several FAA licensed pilots, grant opportunities are more accessible,” said Detective Sergeant Adam Harris, the unit supervisor.  Harris noted that funding for the unit may also available from asset forfeiture. Read the full story at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.