Dodge County Sheriff’s Office shows off new drones at county fair

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(ABC 6 News) – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) is reaching new heights when it comes to keeping our communities safe with drones.

The DCSO is showcasing the new technology at the Dodge County Fair this weekend.

Deputy drone pilots for the DCSO are giving fair visitors a chance to see how their drone is helping them fight crime and help those in need.

Deputy pilots, Chris Purdue and Tyler Vermeersch, have been a part of the department’s drone program from the beginning and both have combined 15 years of experience flying drones.

The drone pilots originally operated out of a response trailer.

Now, however, they operate out of a retired Dodge Center ambulance. With a thermal imaging camera mounted on the drone, they have been able to help out a number of communities.

“Just recently there was an incident up in Oronoco where a guy fled from State Patrol, so we help other agencies with our drone,” explained Deputy Vermeersch. “We actually flew for the Maddie Kingsbury case, prior to her being found. We flew for about eight hours and covered about 11 square miles with our drone.”

Both deputies want to remind people that while you can purchase a drone at Walmart or Target, you still need to follow all FFA regulations before you start flying.