Highway Patrol hoping for funding to buy a drone

Bismarck, ND – The North Dakota Highway Patrol hopes to get new technology to improve officer safety.

The 2019 budget proposal includes $15,000 to buy a new drone. Just this week, we saw an example of how it helps our law enforcement.

Burleigh County Sheriff’s Corporal Jared Lemieux says his department has used a drone for more than a year now.

“I use mine almost every single shift,” he said.

It is one of a few in the state for law enforcement and now Highway Patrol hopes to get its first one.

“It’s just another aspect of technology that can assist the department,” Sgt. Wade Kadrmas with the Highway Patrol said.

Kadrmas says the department could use it for a number of things like mapping out crime scenes or taking pictures of accidents. But most importantly, it provides safer options for our law enforcement.

“We are trained that distance is our friend,” Kadrmas said.

“We’re able to view the suspect to try and determine if he has any weapons and maybe formulate a plan on how to go in and apprehend the suspect,” he added.

That was the case on Monday when Highway Patrol and Burleigh County worked together to arrest a suspect who stole a tow-truck and ran into a field.

“In this situation where we can use the drone, you can stand back about 1,000 feet,” Lemieux said.

The sheriff’s office said it has even used the drone during fires to help provide the fire department as much information as possible.

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