Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office testing new drone tech

Published 12:07 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

CLEMMONS — The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is currently testing new, innovative drone technology known as “Drone in a Dock.” The self-contained system secures the drone (UAS) inside a weather-proof box while simultaneously charging the batteries and maintaining a safe temperature. This allows the drone to remain outside, protected from the elements and ready to take flight in minutes. Beta testing is also being conducted with DroneSense, software that is already being successfully utilized for other drone operations within the Sheriff’s Office.  

The dock has been loaned to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office by Unmanned Vehicle Technologies (UVT) in Arkansas. Testing the new technology allows the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Drone Pilots an opportunity to become familiar with the operations, should it become fully operational in Forsyth County.  

A public relations manager with the FCSO, Daniel Crews, confirmed that the drone in a dock is now functional and positioned in Clemmons.

“So far, it has been on approximately 50 missions,” Crews said. “Sheriff (Bobby) Kimbrough would like to eventually have four others situated throughout Forsyth County. The drone is controlled from the Sheriff’s Office and can be in flight in less than a minute.”

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is one of only five agencies, in the world, to be in the testing phase of this software and its operation. The others include, Norway National Police, Sweden National Police, Oswego, N.Y., and Pearland, Texas. 

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has utilized drone technology for more than five years. The technology allows a team of trained, Part 107 certified, pilots to remotely control Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), aiding in searches and investigations. A video feed from drones, currently in use by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, can be streamed to communications, in real-time.

Since the implementation of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Drone Team, pilots have successfully helped locate missing persons and aid in multiple investigations.