Ogle County Departments to use infrared drone technology

OREGON, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Ogle County Sheriff's Department will soon be able to use drone technology to investigate.

Drones with infrared technology can cost around $21,000, but thanks to extra money from training grants, the Ogle County Sheriff's Department was able to buy one.

Investigators say 6 missing people cases in the last 4 weeks could have been solved quicker if they had been able to use a drone.

This drone can use infrared technology, which detects heat and makes it easy to find people from far away. Since the county has a lot of rural areas, authorities say these drones will help cover a lot of ground that is normally covered on-foot.

"It also allows us to be able to go out and quickly search a 40-acre field so if that child or elderly person is missing, we can, not only look for that person, but eliminate that area as well. For us, that's a big concern is we may not know where that person is, so if we can fly over that 40 or 80 acre bean field and say that that person's not there, that's one less area that we have to search," says Ogle County Sheriff, Brian Vanvickle.

Mt. Morris and Rochelle Fire Departments are also training to use the drone, along with the Ogle County Sheriff's Department.

The drone program has not fully started yet. The Sheriff's Department says they are still writing policies. Next week, the department will start training on the infrared technology.