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Henderson County adds drone to crime-fighting arsenal

HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KETK) - The Henderson County Sheriff's office has added a high-tech drone to their arsenal.

Sheriff Botie Hillhouse says they've added the drone and a trained, licensed pilot to his operation.

This weapon in his arsenal will be deployed during manhunts, cases of kidnapped or missing children, missing elderly, active shooter sites, and post-crime scene analysis.

“This drone will make our team more effective,” he said. “We’ve already seen where the mere presence of the vehicle helped drive a wanted man to arresting Deputies, and we know that these aircraft give hope to people lost in rough, overgrown terrain.”

The Inspire 1 drone is equipped with a complete camera system for both video and still photography, and it has zoom and thermal capabilities so the pilot can see up close and at night.

It has GPS tracking, can reach speeds of 49 miles per hour, weighs just under seven pounds and comes with an iPad monitor and necessary back-up batteries for longer flight times.

The drone was bought and donated by Henderson County Crime Stoppers for $15,000 for equipment and training.

Deputy Kyle Pochobradsky is the Federal Aviation Administration trained and licensed drone pilot.

The 13-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office attended the out-of-town seminar where flying techniques and rules and regulations were taught. The FAA requires that drone pilots attend training sessions every two years for recertification.

“I know the drone will become a vital tool in our operation,” he said. “An eye-in-the-sky will allow our men and women on the front lines to respond more quickly to any challenge or crisis the people of this County face or find themselves in.


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