MCSO’s heat-seeking drones critical in finding missing persons

Local News

PERINTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Last month at the White Brook Nature Center in the Town of Perinton, the Sheriff’s Office was able to locate a missing elderly man who went missing while hiking. Using heat-seeking technology on their drones and other devices, they were able to find him in a matter of minutes.

Deputy Brian McCoy is part of a team of five with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office who respond to calls for missing persons 24 hours a day, all year long.

“This is some of our equipment from the drone response unit here at the Sheriff’s Office,” says McCoy, pointing to the gear, adding, “different heat signatures will show up against different backgrounds.”

“We went up a couple of hundred feet in the air, we were able to pan the area and locate the individual…” says McCoy recounting finding the man in the field here.

McCoy says these cameras can come in handy, especially after sundown. “We are often called at night to come and assist patrol.”

Sgt. Matthew Bottone says with these drones and other devices, the team was able to locate the missing man in about five minutes.

“Now if we had to do it the old school way, of line searches, grid searches, using ATV’s and UTV’s in order to go out and find someone, that could potentially be hours,” says Bottone.

Bottone says the community should feel good that this tech is proven to help. “It’s immeasurable the number of times these come in handy,” he says.

The drone locating Sgt. Bottone in the field

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