Sheriff Neil Godfrey announced today that the Moore County Sheriff’s Office has added a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to its force.
Moore County Sheriff’s Office recently received a DJI Matrice 210 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The DJI Matrice 210 is the “first-ever” dual-camera UAV for simultaneous thermal and standard color imagery. It has an upward-facing gimbal mount, weather resistant design, dual battery bays, thermal imaging and an extensive zoom. The new Moore County Sheriff’s Office UAV with its capabilities makes it ideal for law enforcement search and rescue in locations that are difficult to approach. The Matrice 210 can fly for up to 35 minutes and features an operation range of 4.4 miles. It has two controllers, one for the pilot and one for the observer to control the cameras.
The technological advancement is in concert with the Sheriff’s Office mission by improving the ability to efficiently and effectively enforce the law, protect lives and save valuable resources in time, personnel and money.
On December 1, 2017, the North Carolina Division of Transportation, Division of Aviation, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Office announced Session Law 2017-160 revising existing state drone laws. The revisions loosen restrictions on the use of UAS in emergency management. The law permits emergency management agencies to use drones for all activities related to emergency management and removes the restriction on the use of special imaging technology. The use of technologies such as thermal and infrared was previously only permitted for scientific purposes. The removal of the restriction permits law enforcement to operate for emergency management efforts such as search and rescue operations.
The Sheriff’s Office UAV is a quadcopter with four rotors and has a camera system that will provide officers a real-time video image of what is happening below and around the UAV.
“The Moore County Sheriff’s Office is doing everything we can to ensure that we are using technology to benefit the safety of our citizens as well as our deputies. We are not going to be doing random surveillance of people,” Sheriff Godfrey said. “It will be a mission-specific tool to be employed for special incidents. The primary use remains search and rescue operations but may be employed in other capacities such as searching for a suspect, crime scene photography and documenting natural or man-made disasters. We are a customer-service-oriented organization and this UAV is another tool to help us to better accomplish our mission.”