Drone Program Moves Forward in Randolph County

Sep 6, 2017

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department has recently added a drone program to their department to greater benefit their emergency response and search and rescue cases.

Randolph County Sheriff Mark Nichols says they put in a request for the drone after a missing persons case in northern Missouri successfully used drone technology.

“In the past we’ve had incidents where being able to get a view from the air would’ve definitely been beneficial in quick order, instead of waiting for either a winged aircraft or a helicopter from the highways patrol to get to an area,” Nichols said.

The drone and additional accessories cost just less than $2200 and were given to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department by their local Law Enforcement Restitution Fund committee.

These committees have been installed in different counties throughout Missouri since they became law in 2004, and they manage court-ordered restitution funds for local law enforcement expenditures.

Merl Riley, the chairman of the Randolph County Fund, said these committees are able to provide extra materials that they otherwise would not be able to afford. “We’ve provided funds to drug test kids, some different software programs, computer programs,” Riley said. “Those things that are kind of out of the budget area for either departments.”

Riley said the drone was purchased for the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department after research determined the technology was much needed.

Sheriff Nichols added that while the drone has not yet been used, the department is hopeful it will be a great tool in emergency response and search and rescue cases when they do occur in the area.