MANDAN, N.D. - Whether it's for entertainment or serious business, drones offer a different view of the world. They
Two Morton County Sheriff's deputies are now licensed to fly a department drone purchased last fall.
More than $3,000 was spent on both the drone and the license exams, with money coming from the dive team unit fund.
After months of studying, both deputies were put to work this week.
Drones give law enforcement agencies like the Morton County Sheriff's Department eagle eyed vision.
"It's a lot easier to see things from the sky, you if somebody's out in the woods here, seeing them from here would be really difficult," said Corporal Josh Selle.
Two licensed deputies and a drone are extra tools the department now has to help them in situations just like the one this week in the Heart River.
"Even walking the shoreline sometimes becomes dangerous, and in a situation like this we can check a lot bigger areas, a lot quicker," said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier
Big chunks of ice in the river haven't helped in the search for Lynn Fairfield, but having eyes in the sky has been an important help for deputies.
"It will be used a lot more in the coming days and weeks depending on how the weather and the ice cooperates here," said Kirchmeier.
Kirchmeier says they purchased the drone for situations like this and says the next step with the drone is to apply for some exemptions through the FAA to fly it at night.
They aim to have a broader use for it, but until then it continues to play a pivotal role in the recovery mission of Monday's missing man.