New drones can help search and rescues in Sedgwick County


Search and rescue missions can be challenging, especially when they take up a large area.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office now has a new resource to find people faster with two new drones.

“Looking for lost kids, lost individuals, search and rescue type missions, that’s going to be our primary focus,” said Lt. Nathan Gibbs, of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

The department gave a behind-the-scenes look at their new Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

“We’re able to use our forward looking infrared or flare camera to look for heat signatures and help with the search there,” said Gibbs.

“This is Deputy Miller, he’s just out in the field,” said Detective Jeremy Noel, showing video off of his drone screen Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re just simulating what we do if there was an actual person that we were looking for. And, this is basically what we would use once we do track that person.”

And, if needed, they can fly up to 400 feet in the air. 

“We can also utilize it for crime mapping,” said Gibbs. “So if we have a large incident, we can fly over it and collect evidence data that way. We can also utilize it on large-scale accidents.”

No matter what they’re used for, the department says, these drones help speed up response times.

“With this, we can pull it out of our car unpack it, and we can be up in ten minutes or less,” said Gibbs.

They don’t limit these drones to county calls. 

Of the six missions so far, they’ve been used to assist different agencies, including the Wichita Police Department. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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