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Chester County Sheriff’s Office hopes new drone technology keeps deputies, community safer

Almost three weeks ago, this drone, affectionately named Artemis after the goddess of the hunt, was acquired using no taxpayer money.
Chester County Sheriff's Office just got the new drone technology a few weeks ago and used it within hours to make an arrest.
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT
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CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) -Chester County Sheriff’s Office says deputies now have an eye in the sky they are using to keep themselves and people they arrest safe.

The agency just got the new drone technology a few weeks ago and used it within hours to make an arrest.

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office calls it a game-changer. Deputies say if they could have had this for a case a year ago, it would have made a significant difference.

That case was the hunt for Tyler Terry - where several agencies and hundreds of law enforcement personnel searched the woods for a week looking for the accused killer.

Related: Murder suspects who sparked week-long manhunt in S.C. now suspects in Tenn. homicide

Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey says instead of a week it could have been only days to find Terry if they could have launched the drone immediately.

It was not until after Terry was caught that Dorsey thought about getting this new tech.

He says he went to Chester County community foundations, getting help from many of the people here, to fund this $50,000 project.

Almost three weeks ago, this drone, affectionately named Artemis after the goddess of the hunt, was acquired using no taxpayer money.

And it is already paying off too. Dorsey says they have already made two arrests with suspects trying to escape using the woods.

“It’s just another tool to be an eye in the sky to keep these men and women who are searching for these people safe,” says Dorsey.

This will be used in search and rescue situations as well.

Dorsey says if there is a missing persons case, deputies can launch the drone to try to find the person. Deputies can also come into a home or building, if allowed, to make sure it is completely clear before going in.

So this tool is not only helpful for the deputies and sheriff’s office but, according to Dorsey, also a really great way to keep the community safe.

There were privacy concerns coming from people saying they do not want the Chester County Sheriff’s Office using this improperly. The sheriff says they have to follow FAA regulations so this should not be used in any way that could make people uncomfortable.

Dorsey says there are no other costs related to this drone or the project. They will have to keep up with maintenance for the project.

However, Dorsey says they are trying to get a smaller drone to help with going inside of buildings.

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