Drone deputy shows how device saved woman

Local News

After a 78-year-old woman with dementia was saved from being lost in Pokagon State Park for 12 hours, a deputy with the Noble County Sheriff’s Department told NewsChannel 15 how she was found.

“Euphoric doesn’t begin to describe it,” Chief pilot, deputy Shafter Baker said about finding the missing woman. “Jubilant, exuberant… they do not do justice to how it feels for us to capture an endangered person when the threat of losing their life is there.”

After about 11 hours of teams searching the 13-hundred park acres, the drone officer was called in. She was found about a half hour later.

“Me personally, when I got into law enforcement,” Baker explained. “That was the exact reason I got into the job, was to help people and yesterday paid off in spades.”

How does a search in the woods come to a successful conclusion so quick? The heat signature feature of the drone.

The device goes high into the sky. An officer controls the height and location. An iPad has the visual of what a camera is capturing up there. Several different modes show the police where people are at.

With some training, it’s a useful tool.

“To search the area we were searching yesterday, would have taken days for ground personal to search that size of area,” Baker added. “I was able to search it in under an hour, and do a recovery.”

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