An eye in the sky: Madison County Sheriff’s Office demonstrates new drone

EDWARDSVILLE – The Madison County Sheriff’s Office was able to attain a $29,000 drone package through a grant earlier this year, and were able to demonstrate its uses Tuesday morning in its parking lot.

The DJI drone features both an optical camera with 30 times optical zoom and as much as 180 times digital zoom, as well as a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera, which is similar to what firefighters use to detect hot spots following a structure fire. The drone can also climb to heights of 4,600 meters, but the Madison County Sheriff’s Office is only allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration to reach heights of 400 feet, which is perfect for the needs of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Dareen Onwiler said.

While the implications of this technology may seem to be Orwellian, as the drone’s cameras can zoom into the face of someone standing in the parking lot from

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