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Indiana Conservation Officers have added Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems to their search and rescue capabilities.

The Department of Natural Reasources Law Enforcement Division is the first state emergency response agency to receive official endorsement to utilize these devices for the purpose of search and rescue operations.

Support Services Assistant Commander Keith Dinn says the machines will greatly enhance their ability to bring quick resolve in finding lost children, hikers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and injured people.

Dinn says the training and expertise their certified pilots have received gives him confidence that their officers and other emergency responding agencies will have a much higher rate of success in locating citizens in need with a much quicker response time.

Currently, five Indiana Conservation Officers have become certified pilots of the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems machines and will be prepared for statewide response. The DNR Law Enforcement Division has two units with future goals of adding more to the fleet.

Along with the ability to locate lost citizens, the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems will map out the obstacles for the emergency response personnel and provide knowledge of dangers before encountering the obstacle.

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