Police track crime from the air

Pilots with Sevier Regional helicopter service take off to look for crime on the ground. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

Pilots with Sevier Regional helicopter service take off to look for crime on the ground. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police officers in Sevier County has a new tool to help fight crime, a helicopter that will be watching things from the air.

A private company, PSA, Public Safety Aviation, plans to partner with Sevier County Sheriff, and city police agencies to track down criminals. PSA says by pulling resources together, it will make this type of technology available at a cheaper rate.

Jim Hickman, a co-founder of the operation, says the helicopter is equipped with the latest technology. Hickman says officers on the ground will be able to see what they see in the air.

"We're the first to use this. This equipment allows us to take the images both daytime camera and thermal images, and send it to any web enabled device meaning the critical decision maker or the person in command they can see it from their phone or their iPad," Hickman said.

Hickman says the company will help with other natural disasters and can send a WiFi signal in remote areas to help alert people of danger that maybe coming.

It will cost each agency about the cost of one officer to help fund the helicopter service.

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