NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office received training on Tuesday for its new drone.

Back in February, Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue donated thirty-thousand-dollars to the sheriff’s office for the purchase of the drone. The Matrice 300 drone can provide a bird’s eye view and help cover an increased area as opposed to exclusively searching on foot.

“The main purpose of this was purchased for search and rescue,” said Sheriff Greg Zyburt. “Our search and rescue are out throughout the year, all four seasons. Lost hunters and snowmobilers, and kids from Northern. Mainly for search and rescue is going to be the primary function for this piece of equipment.”

Deputy Matt Rybar from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Unmanned Vehicle Technologies, provided the training to Marquette County Captain Steve Kangas, who just received his pilot’s license. A few other deputies will also undergo months of training.

“So, the pilots fly it from a controller and then you can actually have two controllers to be able to pass the controller back and forth,” said Ryber. “But the pilot controls it from that controller where they see the live video right displayed on the controller and all of the flight data as well.”

The drone has a thermal infrared camera, which means it can be used both day and night to help locate missing individuals. It can fly up to 400 feet and can travel up to 40 miles per hour.

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