Home » Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office Elevates Capabilities with New Drone Equipment

Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office Elevates Capabilities with New Drone Equipment

by Minden Press-Herald

The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO) is soaring to new heights thanks to a generous grant from Claiborne Electric Co-op. With an $8,999 grant in hand, the department has acquired a set of drones, adding a valuable tool to its arsenal.

Two WPSO deputies, Detective Spencer White and Sgt. Josh McCormick, have completed specialized training courses to become certified drone operators. Having spent over 40 hours honing their skills with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, White and McCormick are now prepared to deploy the drones for various tasks.

According to Detective White, the drones offer versatility and efficiency in a range of scenarios. He remarked, “They’re pretty simple to operate and they have a lot of safety features. We want to become very comfortable with them.”

Sgt. McCormick highlighted the drones’ multiple usages, noting, “We will use them in search and rescue, crime scene overlooks especially in remote areas, to help track suspects who may be attempting to run and to help locate stolen property.”

The drones come equipped with thermal sensors, enabling nighttime searches, and a smaller unit designed for indoor use to survey enclosed spaces. This additional safety feature enhances officer situational awareness and aids in tactical decision-making.

With a range of approximately 1,500 feet and a maximum altitude of 400 feet, the drones offer significant operational flexibility. However, Deputy White emphasizes the importance of adhering to regulations governing their use, particularly regarding altitude restrictions and obtaining permission for flights in certain areas. He stated, “In some areas, permission must be obtained to fly the drones at that altitude.”

In addition to mastering the technical aspects of drone operation, White and McCormick have undergone training on the legal framework governing their use in investigations. Operating under the plain sight law, the deputies must have a warrant to conduct targeted drone surveillance, ensuring compliance with legal standards and safeguarding individual privacy rights.

Sheriff Jason Parker lauded the addition of drones to the department’s resources, emphasizing their potential to enhance officer safety and serve the community. He expressed gratitude to Claiborne Electric Co-op for their generous grant, which made the acquisition of this vital equipment possible. Sheriff Parker said, “It’s a good tool for the department. There are many ways we can use these drones for the safety of our officers and the people of our parish.”

Related Posts