Sheriff's Office Drone Team
The Logan County Sheriff's Office now has a Drone Team: Investigator Albert Brown and I (Sheriff Massey) received our Federal Aviation Administration drone pilot licenses late last year and the Sheriff's Office now has two drones (also called unmanned aircraft systems or UAS). We use the drones for search and rescue missions, documenting crime scenes, surveillance in narcotics investigations and dangerous situations, manhunts, and damage and survey assessments in natural disasters. They are great tools, especially in the national forest and rural areas, when searching for people and assessing situations. We can cover a lot of ground quickly when using drones in searches of missing people and manhunts and gives us a bird's eye view in dangerous situations such as active shooter or barricaded suspect situations.
Both of our drones are registered with the FAA and Investigator Brown and I have trained extensively with them. We adopted new policies and procedures for use of the drones based upon FAA and state regulations. One of the drones has a thermal camera which can be used to locate people and evidence, clear areas, and even locate hot spots in fires. The drones have high resolution cameras that transmit in 4K and have sensors that protect against collisions. The drones were purchased from a company in Fayetteville who has supplied drones to numerous law enforcement agencies in Arkansas and other states.
We are always looking at ways to modernize the Sheriff's Office. With grants, we have purchased new body cameras and TASERs for the deputies and we just ordered in-car computers for our patrol vehicles.