Oconee Co. sheriff purchases new search and rescue technology

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OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office’s new technology will allow deputies to search a large area in a small amount of time.

Their new drone is equipped with flare technology so the pilot can detect people even if they are under the trees by their body temperature.

In a mock scenario, the team got the drone in the air and located a missing person within 15 minutes.

“It may be your daughter [or] your granddaughter that got lost. Or it may be a fleeing felon who just broke into your house and now we are chasing them and they are getting away. It gives us the chance to apprehend them and find them quicker,” said Justin Ward, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office drone pilot.

The sheriff told 7News that their drone cost $20,000, but they only paid $3,000 from their budget due to grant funding.

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