BENTON COUNTY, Mo — Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the publics help in raising $20,000 for their local department.
The DJI Matrice 200 is what the Benton County Sheriff’s Office is calling the next frontier in law enforcement.
2 cameras, equipped with zoom and infrared technology, allows deputies to have eyes in the skies when searching for criminals, runaway vehicles, or missing persons in rural and wooded terrain.
“We recently had a situation where where we were in a foot chase with a gentleman who was shooting at us,” explained Sgt. Storm Walker with Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
“He ran off into a place where we couldn’t locate him at night. The next morning he was confronted by an officer in got into a shootout in downtown Warsaw. We think that guy would have been located if we had proper camera equipment and had a way to look for him in the dark.”
The drone’s $20,000 price tag doesn’t come cheap for a department with a limited tax-base, so the Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office are helping raise the funds.
“Benton County is made up of a number of organizations that really make up the community,” said Carrie Rieman.
She is the president of the Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, a non-profit in charge of Dollars for Drones.
“Our goal is to help fund and supplement money for tools like tasers, bullet proof vests, and security equipment. These are things you would assume every force would have, but they aren’t necessarily at every force,” said Rieman.
Dollars for Drones will be collecting money for the next couple of months, but their main events will be at the Community Appreciation Day on September 30th and then Heritage Days in October.
They have also set up a GoFundMe account and listed additional information on their Facebook page.