Sioux County Drone Proving Helpful

Sioux County, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Sioux County Emergency Management now have a new tool to help them perform a number of law enforcement and emergency tasks.

An unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly called a “drone” has been secured by the county and is being used in a number of situations. Sioux County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy and Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga tells us about it. He says it all started about a year ago with training.

He gives us an idea of some of the situations in which a drone can be helpful.

The FLIR system that Huizenga referenced stands for “Forward-Looking InfraRed,” which is a heat-sensitive camera that doesn’t show visible pictures like a regular camera, but different levels of heat, which is why it can find hot spots in a fire or a lost person in deep cover.

He tells us about the specific model of the drone.

Huizenga says it is a larger unit, but that gives them the capability of running the two cameras, and it’s more stable in the wind. He says it has a higher-capacity battery to match.

He tells us it was a combined budgeted purchase through both the Sheriff’s Office budget and the Emergency Management budget, but they also received some grants to help them pay for the cameras and extra batteries. Huizenga says they’re glad they have the new tool at their disposal.

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