The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department is now in possession of some of the latest surveillance technology available thanks to the Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office.
Funding provided by Prosecutor Kent Apsley from the Prosecutor’s Law Enforcement Trust Fund, the sheriff’s department was able to purchase a $2,300 Phantom Quadcopter.
Weighing only 6 pounds and spanning 17-inches in diameter, the quadrotor helicopter is lifted and propelled by four motors and is vertically and horizontally directed with a hand held controller.
A mounted camera records video that is transmitted to either an iPhone or iPad via an app or to a computer monitor at headquarters.
Sheriff Michael Bowlby presented its newest acquisition at Wednesday’s Merit Board meeting, followed by a flight demonstration at Blue River Memorial Park.
Bowlby had first seen the device when used by Rushville Police Department at a recent crash scene and was impressed with its versatility, functionality and ease of use.
When Apsley saw the video produced by the quadcopter, he suggested the sheriff’s department should have one.Bowlby said it will be useful for surveying crash and fire scenes and for illegal marijuana grow searches.
“We’ll get an aerial view of what’s there,” he said.
The expense included the upgraded navigation system, camera, swivel camera mount, six batteries with tester and charger, remote controls for the device and camera and a case.
It arrived pretty much ready to fly from the box. The only assembly was putting on the propellors and installing transmitter batteries.