Noble County Sheriff's Department helps northeast Indiana agencies with drone

Deputies launched drones four times in 25 hours, and none were for the Noble County Sheriff's Department.

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 10:01 PM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 10:16 PM

ALBION, Ind. (WFFT) - The drone team at the Noble County Sheriff's Department had a busy start to October.

Deputies launched drones four times in 25 hours, and none were for the Noble County Sheriff's Department.

"Our success was fairly immediate when we had our first recovery of a suspect. We were contacted by other agencies," said Noble County deputy Shafter Baker.

Baker and Brandon Cordes have been helping agencies with their drones across the region for nearly two years.

Monday night saw three calls for the drone, including the DeKalb County Sheriff Department looking for the driver of a crash on County Road 16.

Baker and Cordes found Zeke Houser, 21, lying in a field with the help of a special infrared camera.

"That allows us to see light waves that are invisible spectrum," Baker said.

But the night didn't end there Kendallville police used Noble County for help finding a suspect.

Then Whitley County called for help tracking a missing suicidal woman.

The night didn't end until 4 Tuesday morning.

Something Shafter said he doesn't mind.

"Once the initial dread of being woke up in the middle of the night has surpassed, I looked forward to it. I enjoy flying the drone, I enjoy responding," he said.

"I enjoy going out and helping other counties," Cordes said.

In the two years, they've responded to areas from Fort Wayne to South Bend.

"I feel like we've been, at least in northeast Indiana, a pioneer in this whole drone thing and that to me has been pretty special," Cordes said.

"It's overwhelming and yet humbling because it's interesting to know we're on the leading edge of this technology," said Baker.

DeKalb County Sheriff Don Lauer said his department uses Noble and Steuben Counties' drones often, but DeKalb County is close to buying their own.

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