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Drones becoming a new tool for crime fighting

Drones are taking to the skies for the greater good of our communities.

Drones are taking to the skies for the greater good of our communities.

At Tri-C's Public Safety Training Center, law enforcement officers receive training on the use of drones for tactical missions, search and rescue, accident investigations, and even assisting firefighters.

"It allows for an opportunity to get a better view of an incident or scene. It also allows for an officer to have more eyes on a situation," says Tri-C Police Chief Clayton Harris.

And there are real-word examples. Investigators used a drone last week in Pennsylvania to search for suspected killer Joshua Gurto. They searched a wide area using a small drone.

"As opposed to having 100 people out in the woods searching for someone, you take this aerial view. You use thermal technology, and you have the ability to locate someone a lot faster, a lot safer for everybody," says Harris.

In a fire, drones can help locate flames inside the building that you wouldn't be able to see from ground level. The same is true in an accident investigation, or even a SWAT team incident.

But before any department can use drones effectively, they must have proper training and certifications.

"We love this technology, we love what it does. But it's no good if the pilot doesn't really understand all the intricacies and all of the issues related to it," says Harris.

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