Sherman Police, Fire unveil new thermal imaging drone

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 2:09 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Internet company, TekWav, donated a drone for the departments to use for safety missions when out in the field.

The thermal drone will be used to find lost children or lost missing persons as well as when chasing a suspect, by tracking their body heat, it will give officers an advantage by letting them take to the sky, without the risk of injury.

“We are very thankful for it, this kind of thing all this new technology is gonna help us do our jobs better help us make the community a safer place ultimately so we are very grateful for the donation,” SGT Brett Mullen said.

Owners of TekWav, J.J and Angela McGrath, said they could think of no better way to help out in the community than by donating a drone to the Sherman fire and police departments.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be able to give back to our first responders. We are all going through a lot, a lot of tough times right now so it meant a lot to us as a family and a company to be able to give them an extra tool to do their jobs safely and efficiently.” Angela

The gift was first thought of last year when a fire broke out in Downtown Sherman.

“Kinda what started this whole deal was we had our downtown fire and I called J.J. that morning there was somebody flying a drone overhead and I said hey is that your drone and he said no I’m out of town and we got to talking and he said well could y’all use one, absolutely.” Assistant Fire Chief Chris Olsen said.

The drone has one camera attached to it and has headlights on top that can be removed and replaced with a speaker to talk and record information that is being seen.

The camera can switch from a regular viewing camera to a monitor that detects heat and shows hot spots of where people are.

“The heat signature that shows up, we use thermal temperatures everyday so I know what they can do for us. So yeah it’s pretty detailed you can usually make out a pretty good silhouette and know what you’re looking at,” Olson said.

The police department is housing the drone for now, as they are the only department that has pilots to fly it, but whenever the fire department needs it, the pilots will come to the scene for assistance.

“It’s a gift. There’s no payment here, like I said we use drones all the time but it was easy for us to do this to help give back to the community we’ve been in the community for quite sometime and it’s an easy way for us give back to the community for helping us out,” JJ McGrath said.

Sherman Police Officer, Brad Bigham, said that Sherman Police and the Fire Department are the first departments to receive a drone in the Texoma region.

This is something that they can not wait to use and are very thankful for.

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