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Arapahoe County deputies using drones to help fight crime

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — In an effort to solve crimes faster and to alert the public in a safer way, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is experimenting with drone use.

"I’ve already done my air-space check,” explained Deputy Mark Edson, a drone pilot with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

Edson uses the office’s drone on a regular basis. It’s a new tool for law enforcement and they are hoping it will help save money and lives.

“They’re a lot cheaper than a helicopter,” Edson said. “[And] if I get the chance to save a life or find a missing child, that’s what it’s all about”.

Edson told the Problem Solvers he has already seen promising results.

The drone is equipped with a loudspeaker, which is used to alert the public of danger in the area.

Recently, Edson was able to alert some children jumping on a trampoline about a suspect running around their neighborhood.

“They heeded the warning and heard the drone,” Edson said, while showing video of the kids running indoors.

Moments later, the drone was used to spot the suspect.

"The suspect is trying to leave the neighborhood, looks up and sees the drone and turns around and is apprehended by deputies in the neighborhood,” Edson said while showing the Problem Solvers video of the arrest.

During another patrol, Edson’s drone used thermal imaging to discover a bear wandering around a community.

The drone is also being used for mapping measurements at crime and accident scenes. Because of its vantage point, the drone is able to get closed-off areas and roads opened faster.

“It’s just a whole new perspective,” Edson said.

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