Moore County Sheriff's Office locates missing child using UAS

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North Carolina’s Moore County Sheriff’s Office recently used a UAS to locate a missing 11-year-old child.

​After arriving to the Jackson Springs, North Carolina residence where Moore County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched on the night of March 1, Moore County Sheriff’s Office Drone Pilot, Lieutenant Tim Davis immediately launched the department's DJI Matrice 210 UAS to search for the child. Within just 15 minutes, the UAS observed a heat signature in the wooded area approximately 100 yards from the residence across the highway.

Lieutenant Davis used his radio to direct deputies to the location of the heat signature, and the deputies located the child, sleeping under some thick tree limbs and brush.

“This is a perfect example of why we invested in this drone capability,” says Sheriff Neil Godfrey.

“The Moore County Sheriff’s Office is doing everything we can to ensure that we are using technology to benefit the safety of our citizens as well as our deputies. Without the drone, we would have had to employ additional resources that historically would have included a helicopter. As a parent, I am happy for the child and the family that last night’s flight was a success and as the Sheriff, I am proud of Lieutenant Davis and our deputies.”

The DJI Matrice 210 UAS used for this mission was acquired by the Moore County Sheriff’s Office in December 2017. The UAS is the “first-ever” dual-camera UAS for simultaneous thermal and standard color imagery. It also has a weather resistant design, an upward-facing gimbal mount, dual battery bays, thermal imaging and an extensive zoom, and, it comes with two controllers; one for the pilot and one for the observer to control the cameras.

With an operational range of 4.4 miles, and an ability to fly for up to 35 minutes, the UAS is ideal for law enforcement agencies, especially for search and rescue missions like the one it was used for in this instance.