Drones find home in fighting local crime

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For several decades we've had the same view of crime tape, flashing lights and investigators spread out on a scene. But, that is all about to change.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office now has six certified drone pilots, a few showed off their skills in the sky on Tuesday.

The step-up in drone staffing for the Sheriff's Office means deputies aren't in a battle against the clock as they expect quicker response time to calls for help. 

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

Drones have already played a major role in local headline stories.

*Last July drones found a 91-year-old Newton man who was missing. Officials said finding him from above was critical to saving his life.

*Last month KAKE-TV documented the drone use in the search efforts for Lucas Hernandez.

*Happening now in Riley County drones have been called in to find Ashley Meiss who is a missing local soldier battling PTSD.

Going forward search and rescue cases will dominate how law enforcement use drones.

However, in the air and in the not so distant future look for these aircrafts to also hover around critical or fatal accidents that take place every day on our roadways.

“Kind of gives a broad overview, something we haven't had before," added Lt. Gibbs

Will the media have access to drone footage from the Sheriff's Office?


On regular basis we file requests for incident reports on certain crimes that take place. 

requesting drone footage from the Sheriff's Office will be the same process.

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