WAITE PARK -- The Stearns County Sheriff's Office has a new piece of equipment at their disposal.

Deputies showcased their new drone Friday afternoon at Quarry Park and Nature Preserve.

Lieutenant Robert Dickhaus says the drone will mainly be used to search for people and items in open areas.

"Anytime we have someone we want to look for we call the State Patrol helicopter, that can take time. The drone gives us the ability to get a search going at any time," says Dickhaus.

The drone was paid for through the county budget and cost roughly $12,000. Dickhaus says they are in the process of putting together a drone team to control operations.

"We're going to have five or six officers who are trained and can specialize in operating this machine," says Dickhaus.

Dickhaus says they must still follow the same rules and regulations as anyone else and the drone is not meant to spy on you.


(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)