Keeping an eye in the sky, local law enforcement uses drone during manhunt

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Catching the bad guys could get a little easier for local law enforcement. This as technology is helping them keep an eye in the sky.

Deputy Steve Meng has been with the Vigo County Sheriff’s office for 22 years. He bought a flying piece of technology, more than a year ago, for personal use. “I never imagined in a million years we would be using flying drones to help us in our job,” said Meng.

Last Thursday the toy became a tool. A pursuit happened before 8 a.m. on State Road 63 starting in southern Vigo County and then crossed into Sullivan County.

Officials report the suspect vehicle reached speeds of more than 100 mph multiple times during the accident. The pursuit ended in a crash on State Road 63 near County Road 1075 in Sullivan County – this is just south of Prairie Creek.

Multiple agencies were involved in a foot pursuit including Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Vigo County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and Indiana Conservation Officers.

“Well I could see things that everybody else couldn’t see,” said Meng.

The drone was deployed to search a nearby field. Vernon Eversole was found inside a barn. He was arrested and taken into custody.

“Up there I could see the tracks in the corn and the tracks in the beans. You can just see everything up there,” explained Meng.

Now the sheriff’s office is exploring the technology, realizing drones could take deputies to new heights without putting as many lives in danger.

“You have to always utilize any technology that you can get where you might be able to get somewhere where manpower cannot, and you don’t have to put your men at risk,” said Chief Deputy John Moats.

So could drones be the future of fighting crime? Maybe, but until then Meng is willing to help when and where he is needed.

“Well if the tools are there, there’s just no reason not to use them. If you can use them to find a missing child or missing elderly person, there’s no price you can put on that.”

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