Opinion: Finding ways to save lives

Published 4:55 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

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Two deputies arrived on the scene of a Meadowbrook home on a welfare check on March 22, 2023 after receiving calls from the house’s owner. The deputies found the back door broken into and proceeded to enter the home to clear it.

Once upstairs, they made contact with an armed individual in the upstairs bathroom. After attempting to convince the individual to come out, the person of interest opened fire on the deputies hitting both of them.

Fortunately, the suspect was eventually talked down. This was a real encounter that happened here in Shelby County with two of our own law enforcement officers. It’s an unfortunate risk that officers take when they clear a building, however, that may soon change after the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office’s acquisition of new technology.

The SCSO has implemented the use of drones in its Tactical Response Unit meaning that building clearing could potentially be done with a drone preventing situations like the one in Meadowbrook.

Not only do drones provide potential for building clearing, but they can also be used for rapid deployment—providing officers with a second set of eyes on a situation in an expedient manner. It can assist in search and rescue efforts with a bird’s-eye view or could help with safely containing an area in a situation with a barricaded subject. The SCSO is currently looking into ways to expand its use of drones into patrol as well.

As the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office expands its repertoire of devices such as drones, it is good to see the enhanced protection of human lives that can come with these advancements in technology.