Bartholomew deputies adding drones for crash, crime scene renderings

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department will be adding drones to help with the investigation of crash sites and crime scenes.

Bartholomew County Commissioners approved the department’s request for the equipment at their meeting yesterday morning.

Capt. Brandon Slate with the sheriff’s department explained that the equipment will allow for accurate digital recreation of the scenes and include 3D capabilities. Once a scene is mapped, the software will allow a user to move around inside the virtual scene, taking measurements and viewing the scene from multiple angles. Users will even be able to recreate the actual motion of a crash in the software.

The sheriff’s department requested approval for four drones and their accessories, software, training and FAA authorization which allows the department to fly the drones. The department also requested a surveying and measurement equipment package to work with the drones.

Slate said the equipment will be more accurate than the existing manual methods and will allow the work to be done more quickly.

The drone package cost was just over $76,000 and will be paid for through a homeland security grant. The surveying package was just over $74,000 and will be paid for through crash report fees and drug seizure money.