Choctaw County Sheriff's Office now using drone

Published: Aug. 11, 2016 at 6:22 PM CDT
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CHOCTAW COUNTY, Okla. -- The Choctaw County Sheriffs Office is utilizing new technology to fight crime. We went to Hugo today to see first hand just what this new technology can do.

"This is the new Autel Robotics X-star premium drone. We purchased this about three weeks ago. It has about a 1.2 mile radius and it can stay airborne for approximately 20 minutes on one battery," Larry Hendrix told News 12.

Choctaw County Undersheriff Larry Hendrix says they're already using it to bust criminals.

"We've recently done a marijuana flyover at the request of a homeowner on his property and we've recently attempted to locate a stolen tractor with this drone," Hendrix said.

Hendrix says the drone can help them in more high stress scenarios too.

"It will be extremely useful in the event of a barricaded suspect, where we can get up close to the vehicle or residence. That way in the event of gunfire the drone is obviously easy to replace where one of our guys taking the risk of getting injured is not," Hendrix added.

Sheriff Terry park says he looked into getting a drone for months before buying this one for around $1,000 for one main reason - to help keep his deputies safe.

"I can replace this drone if shot by a bad person much easier than I can one of my deputies or to law enforcement officers that respond to these people," Park exclaimed.

Park says he wants one thing to be clear when it comes to how they're using the drone.

"Anything that we do with this drone is for the betterment of the people of Choctaw County. This drone was not bought to infringe on anyone's space, distance, rights, and privileges," Park told News 12.

Park says the District attorney is researching what law enforcement practices can and cannot be done with the drone.