Sheriff's Office to buy 2 new drones

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
A model of one of the drones the Sheriff's Office will be receiving.

Pottawatomie County Commissioners have approved the purchase of two new drones for the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office.

According to District 2 Commissioner Randy Thomas, the board approved the lowest bid from Unmanned Vehicle Technologies out of Arkansas.

The Sheriff's Office will receive one small drone for $579, which can be used on surveillance in smaller areas.

In addition, the department will also purchase a drone for about $28,000 that will have a thermal energy camera and allow officers to track people and survey situations at night.

According to Sheriff Mike Booth, the new drone will greatly benefit the Sheriff's Office and it also can help deputies when searching for missing persons.

This new thermal camera drone will be more accurate with a spotlight feature that will benefit search parties at dark.

In addition, Booth said deputies can attach the department's long-range camera to the new drone, which will allow for better security tactics when tracking a suspect.

The long-range camera is best for daytime searches and allows law enforcement to find and detect any potential threat.

Thomas said Unmanned Vehicle Technologies will also provide the necessary training and software to the Sheriff's Office.