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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The use of unmanned drones has raised privacy and safety concerns across the country. But the controversial aircraft could also be a useful tool for law enforcement one a local sheriff would like state lawmakers to consider.

“It is much quicker than a helicopter or plane. much quicker,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said. “I mean, it can basically be carried around in a vehicle and launched within minutes.”

The portability, the speed and the cost are all reasons why Ingram favors law enforcement agencies’ use of drones.

“It’s just technology, but we have to be mindful how we use that technology and how it will affect our citizens and society,” Ingram said.

Some people are concerned about the thought of a drone flying around.

“I would just want to know exactly the restrictions are and what things are they are able to investigate,” said Sara Willis, who is concerned about drone use.

In a statement the Federal Aviation Administration says there are about 80 law enforcement agencies operating unmanned aircrafts. The FAA says the operator must fly the device within the line of sight no more than 400 feet off the ground.

“Man force is not getting enough done,” said Richard Warren, who supports drone use. “So with the drones, that might be more helpful to law enforcement in solving crimes.”

For agencies like the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, which only has one helicopter pilot, Ingram says having drone capabilities would be beneficial.

“You could be on scene with something like this, immediately deploy it, and start initiating the search,” he said.

Ingram says this is not something that is going to happen any time soon. These are just the beginning stages of planning for the future.

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19 Comments on "Brunswick County Sheriff supports law enforcement use of drones"

2015 years 10 months ago

I find it very disturbing that first we had to have a helicopter, then we had to have a $500,000 boat to patrol the waterways, then an armored personnel carrier, we’ve got “citizens patrols”, and every cruiser has a computer in it, and now Mr Ingram wants “drones”????, for god’s sake, Brunswick county used to be a safe quite little place to live and retire, has something changed we need to be aware of?

Dirk Ziggler
2015 years 10 months ago

Duhhh it done woulda be reals spensives. Dem bruco boys done use em fer targetz practiceses..

2015 years 10 months ago

Them pilots don’t come cheap. They train them at the AF academy in Colorado Springs. They can put guns on them that can shoot you right between the eyes at a half a mile…lol, fools

2015 years 10 months ago

The State of North Carolina has a moratorium in place until 2015, according to the article at Star News. That won’t keep the federal government from sending them our way. This type of technology cannot be trusted in the hands of the government. Some people say that the founding fathers had no clue as to the types of weapons or technology that we have in today’s world. They did know human nature and knew what weapons in the hands of government could mean for the people. The colonials revolted for a lot less than what we put up with today.

2015 years 10 months ago

Regardless of whatever the reason or reasons he wants to have drones, his statement was designed to put the best public face on it he could. Who knows what his real deal is.

Personally, I’d rather not take the chance of finding out. That’s just too big a gamble.


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