Sioux Center, Iowa — Sioux County Sheriff’s Officials are showing people around the county just what a useful tool a drone can be.
Recently, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office did some training at the Royal Meadows Care Center in Sioux Center with Sioux Center Health staff.
The Sheriff’s Office tells us that a staff member role-played that they had dementia and had wandered into a nearby cornfield — and that search parties could not locate the person. The Sheriff’s Office drone team was able to successfully locate the person in the cornfield a short time after joining the search.
Sheriff’s officials tell us the drone is able to detect heat signatures given off by people and animals as well as offer live views through zoom and infrared video cameras mounted on the drone. They tell us the exercise allowed the drone operators the opportunity to use different settings to help locate the person. These settings can also be used in various combinations to adapt to different light and weather conditions.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says their drone team consists of FAA-certified small‐unmanned aircraft pilots — Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga, Captain Jamie Van Voorst; and Sioux County Information Technology staff members Micah Van Maanen and Josh Dykstra.