Weyerhaeuser grant used to buy thermal imaging drone
A drone with thermal imaging could be in service later this year, thanks in large part to a grant from Weyerhaeuser, Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark said.
“We are excited,” Clark said. “This will be a really good tool for our officers to use. We would not be able to afford this if it were not for the contributions from Weyerhaeuser.”
Weyerhaeuser Manager Kris Robertson said the money comes from The Weyerhaeuser Community Giving Fund. Robertson said recipients are considered based on merit where they believe the money can go toward something that can benefit the community as a whole.
“The Weyerhaeuser Community Giving Fund is one of the many ways that our company gives back to our operating communities,” Robertson said. “We try to use these grants to fund projects and organizations that support our local communities and improve the quality of life for everyone.”
The Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office received $10,500 from Weyerhaeuser for a drone with thermal imaging capabilities. Clark said the total cost of the drone is $13,000. Clark said he had the difference in his budget but would not be able to purchase the drone without the significant contribution.
He said they have put in an order from Air Worx for the drone and hope to receive it in a few weeks.
When the drone comes in, Clark said he hopes to have at least two or three deputies cross-trained on the device so that the office can make good use of it.
“We want to use this to its full potential,” Clark said. “We will make sure our deputies know all the legalities of using the drone.”
Clark said in the past they have borrowed a drone from the Philadelphia Police Department and Winston County authorities.
“You just cannot fathom the number of uses we will have for something like this,” Clark said.
In the past, they have used drones from other jurisdictions to document crime scenes, find missing children and locate wanted criminals.
“We recognize and appreciate all that the Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office does on a daily basis to make our community a safe place for us all to live and work,” Robertson said.