Atlanta police to purchase infrared drones to find suspects and missing people

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ATLANTA – Drones hovering in the air are no longer a foreign concept, but Atlanta’s police department has also found them useful indoors and anticipates adding a new infrared drone before the start of the summer.

Officers gave FOX 5 an exclusive look at how the new technology could help bring missing people home, find suspects and limit violent standoffs.

Atlanta police said video from the 2020 arrest of Antonio Demetrice Rhynes. Rynes was wanted for the murder of actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd who appeared in several Spike Lee movies. The arrest proves drones are invaluable additions to the department.

Read more: Analyst pleads to leaking secrets about drone program

“The drone was utilized then to get the subject in his apartment,” Senior Patrol Officer James Cunningham said. “The SWAT team used explosives to open a door, they utilized the drone to go in and find subject inside.”

SPO Cunningham operated the drone that night and remembers it as a success.

“Everyone left location safe,” he said. There were no injuries.

“SPO Cunningham has put together a tremendous training program,” Lt. Gary Harper, one of the newer pilots said.

“Originally, I was trying to find equipment for the SWAT team,” he said. “It manifested itself into getting equipment for the entire department.”

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Source: Alex Whittler Fox 5

Photo credit: DJI



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