Like many precincts around the United States, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona made the decision to start using drones. Drones are a smart move for the Gila County Sheriff’s Office when you consider the unforgiving desert environment. After just one recent search mission, I’m sure the value proposition was proven; a man fell down nearly a 500-foot cliff into Salt River Canyon. Historically, this would have required a dangerous full day search, now using a drone, the search took about an hour.
It was a dangerous search mission down a nearly 500-foot cliff, something that members of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue agreed would normally take all day.
The effort to find the body of a man who fell into the Salt River Canyon, however, took only about an hour.
The difference? An unmanned aerial vehicle or drone.
“Prior to having a drone, we would have had to make multiple repels over the edge to check areas that we couldn’t see any other way,” said Sgt. Dennis Newman, the search coordinator for the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
Drones are the perfect tool for search and rescue. This is reflected in recent drone industry growth projections found in the Omnibus Research Report. This report shows the industry growing to $2 billion by 2023 with the growth largely being driven by the “growing need for law enforcement activities.”
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