A Seeker thermal imaging law enforcement drone by the Texas-based company, MAXSUR
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office in central Texas said that it used a thermal imaging drone to help capture a suspect that sheriff's deputies said was carrying narcotics and had fired on another law enforcement officer earlier this month.
In the early morning of Jan. 5, police from Georgetown were chasing 22-year-old Malik Anthony Rashan Jackovich when Jackovich ditched his car near the San Gabriel River and ran under a bridge, law enforcement officials said. Jackovich fired at police, who called for aid from Williamson County Sheriff's Department. The thermal imaging drone located Jackovich under the bridge in a location in which the department said a helicopter could not likely have gained access. Law enforcement officials said they subsequently coaxed Jackovich into surrendering.
"Proof that technology can aid public safety in fighting crime," Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said on Jan. 23 on his Facebook page. "Thankful the Williamson County Sheriffs Office has this technology from seized funds."
Jackovich was charged with several offenses, including possession of narcotics and aggravated assault against a public servant.
The department said that its four drones, paid for through drug seizures, would save money, help in searches for missing persons and improve the safety of law enforcement officers.
Chody wrote in an email that the Jan. 5 arrest was the first in which his office used a drone to locate a suspect. In May, 2017, the Williamson County Sheriff's Office established the drone unit.
Two of the office's drones are Mavic Pros by China-based SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd.--commonly known as DJI, and the other two drones are Mk-2s by Massachusetts-based InstantEye Robotics, Chody wrote. "The unit currently has 11 FAA-certified UAS [unmanned aircraft system] pilots and will increase to 16 pilots before the summer as a new training program begins," he wrote.