WHERE: 102 E. 6th Street, Rio Grande City, TX 78582
The geographic fact that Starr County is a border county with Mexico, allows that we see our fair share of illegal immigration. Aside from our law enforcement assisting with border security, our law enforcement is also dispatched to located illegal immigrants who have lost hope, quit on their trek and have reach out to 911 emergency centers due to them being injured or lost. Now, when 911 call centers receive calls, cell towers triangulate a location from where this call is being made and unfortunately are never accurate. The lost immigrants normally can only give geographic location description and it usually takes hours for them to be found from the ground if they are ever found at all. Drone technology would tremendously decrease the lost immigrant location time due to the drone not being subject to ground and terrain. Not only would this technology assist in locating the illegal immigrants, but it would also decrease the danger from our personnel embarking into the unknown thick brush where dangerous wildlife such as snakes, arachnids, and mammals inhabit.
During the summer months in South Texas, it becomes notoriously hot where temperatures commonly surpass triple digits. As a result of this, wild brush fires occasionally seem rampant in our county. These brush fires have threatened wildlife, public land, private land, private domiciles, and public offices. Drone technology would be utilized in these situations to quickly become airborne and survey an area. The intelligence gathered during this time could be forwarded or utilized by experts to assist in containing the area, and foreseeing upcoming dangers and or obstacles.
In less than 48 hours after donation, the drone was used to apprehend a fugitive evading capture.
On May 7th, 2019 The Starr County Sheriff’s Office submitted an application to the National Public Safety Drone Donation Program (NPS-DDP) / Airborne Works for a Free Drone. NPS-DDP was founded by Airborne Works. Our partners at AUTEL Robotics, a global drone manufacturer, and FoxFury Lighting Solutions, a global public safety lighting solutions provider, has teamed up with NPS-DDP to donate new drones and unmanned areal vehicle (UAV) lighting kits to departments in need. Starr County Sheriff’s Office has been chosen by AUTEL Robotics to receive one of 9 Drone kits to be donated.