The Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office will now be able to locate missing persons and track wanted subjects in place of a helicopter, allowing more calls to be handled simultaneously. - Photo: Autel Robotics

The Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office will now be able to locate missing persons and track wanted subjects in place of a helicopter, allowing more calls to be handled simultaneously.

Photo: Autel Robotics

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Myers, Florida, has added a new fixed-wing drone to its fleet.

The drone, also known as the Dragonfish from Autel Robotics, is designed to take off and land vertically, enabling deputies to deploy it from anywhere and stream footage back to their real-time intelligence center.

Officials from the Sheriff’s Office said they were primarily drawn to the Dragonfish because of its two-hour flight time, which outmatches the 20-minute flight time allotted by most of the other drones in its fleet. The longer flight capability will enable operators to use the drone to locate missing persons and track wanted subjects in place of a helicopter, minimizing the demand on the agency’s Aviation Unit and allowing more calls to be handled simultaneously.

The Dragonfish also has a top speed of 67 mph, can fly up to 18 miles away from the operator, and is equipped with a 4K optical zoom lens and an infrared camera to help respond to calls at night.

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