Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to begin using drones

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(Graphic: WKRN)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has unveiled its new drone system that deputies will use to gather evidence for court cases, detect bombs and find missing persons.

Media outlets report Sheriff Jim Hammond assured the public during a news conference Monday that the equipment will not be used to invade people’s right to privacy.

Federal Aviation Administration records show more than 80 law enforcement agencies, colleges and other government agencies across the nation have been granted or applied for permits to fly unmanned aircraft systems.

Deputies first began training to use the system in December 2014. Training has cost $9,000, while the six drones cost $10,000.

Hammond says District Attorney General Neal Pinkston oversees use of the equipment and will make sure the drones will be used within legal guidelines.