Florida Sheriff’s Office Acquires First Dragonfish: Autel’s Fixed Wing Drone
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Myers, Florida has become the first law enforcement agency in the nation to acquire a Dragonfish, an advanced fixed-wing drone. Sheriff’s Office Officials say that the unit will revolutionize the way in which they respond to calls going forward.
While Autel’s Evo series are deployed to public safety agencies around the country, Autel’s fixed wing Dragonfish features a unique tilt rotor design that enables it to takeoff and land vertically. This feature allows deputies to deploy the unit from anywhere within 10 seconds, as well as stream footage back to their Real Time Intelligence Center immediately.
Sheriff’s Office Officials claim that they were primarily drawn to the Dragonfish due to its flight time of two hours, far surpassing the more limited 20 minute flight time that most of the other drones in its fleet allow for. This lengthier flight time, owing to the Dragonfish’s fixed wing design, will enable operators to utilize it for such crucial tasks as locating missing persons and tracking wanted subjects in lieu of a helicopter. Using the Dragonfish in a helicopter’s place will minimize the demand placed on the agency’s Aviation Unit and allow for more calls to be handled simultaneously.
“The ability to fly our chopper for one call and launch the Dragonfish for another allows us to provide a higher level of service to the citizens of Lee County,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Every time we can increase the number of calls we answer at a time, we’re helping save lives.”
Setting itself apart from the other drones in the Sheriff’s Office’s fleet, the Dragonfish boasts a top speed of 67 mph and can maintain a distance of up to 18 miles away from the operator. Also featuring a 4K optical zoom lens and an infrared camera, the unit is well equipped to provide assistance to the Sheriff’s Office when responding to calls at night.
“As sheriff, my goal is to bring the latest and greatest technology to this agency,” Sheriff Marceno continued. “The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is proud to be the first law enforcement agency to use the Dragonfish in our day-to-day operations.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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