With the help of a company out of Hunstville, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will now add drones to its crime-fighting arsenal.
The unmanned, microwave-sized aircraft provided by Avion Solutions, which helped the county get an FAA certificate of authorization sometime in the next three months, will help enhance the Sheriff’s in a number of situations.
“We have a core group of operators and our training is moving beyond how to fly and now focusing in on specific tactics,” Sheriff Jeff Long said. “Things like search and rescue missions. This is where we set up a way point over the last known location of the lost individual and progressively fly a set pattern over a known area, and then we can ensure we didn’t miss anything.”
Avion also developed an FAA-approved training curriculum for the Will Co Sheriff’s Office to train operators.
Long believes the drones will help in more than just search-and-rescue. Their utility, he said, extends to hostage situations, traffic accidents and fires.
The sticky questions that arises with drones is surveillance. Something about their remote-control, or their size or perhaps the fact that many Americans were introduced to them via the military’s missions that made use of drones in targeted terrorist strikes or terrorist apprehension. But, in truth, the function drones serve for local law enforcement is not a new one. Simply a cheaper one.
Currently, the norm across the country’s law enforecement is to use helicopters or airplanes in any of the aforementioned situations. Using drones, however, will perform many of those tasks but at a fraction of the cost.
Deploying a UAS is fourteen-times cheaper for than Williamson County Sheriff’s Office compared to using manned aircraft in these situations.
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