Mineral County Sheriff gives update to commissioners

MINERAL COUNTY — Mineral County Sheriff Terry Wetherill gave a brief update to commissioners during their mid-month meeting on Wednesday, March 15. Wetherill began by stating that the department is putting the final toucheson updating their policy manual, saying that it was a worthwhile investment.

The department is also continuing to switch over to E-Force, a new record management system that will aid the office in communicating with other departments, streamline the process of writing reports and help with organization of reports throughout the department.

During the update, Sheriff Wetherill stated that he was seeking more grant funding to help with costs associated with putting additional people through police academy training and though the grant did not pay for ammunition and other components needed for the training the grant would pay for the majority of what was needed for one or two individuals to complete the program.

In addition to the training grants, Wetherill stated that he had also secured grant funding to help purchase a new drone for the Mineral County Search and Rescue team that would be used in missions and training. The team had previously purchased a drone several years ago, but due to heavy use and the need for upgraded technology, it was in the department’s best interest to buy a newer drone.

“The old drone is still marginally functional,” he said. “We have wrecked it a few times, and we have fixed it a few times but what it really comes down to is the batteries. Technology continues to move up and the batteries are now pretty much useless. They no longer make the batteries for that drone anymore and you can’t buy any from aftermarket dealers. It is in our best interest to purchase the new drone which is a thermal drone.”

According to Wetherill, the new drone is a Mavic 3T Thermal drone which has both a thermal and visual camera. Wetherill explained that with the old drone, the team would have to switch out the cameras from thermal to visual while out on missions.

“Our old one, I couldn’t see footprints in the snow. With this new one, we can see footprints for up to three hours after they were made,” he said.

Wetherill said he was not sure if the drone really could see footprints up to three hours after they were made in the snow, but having the ability to switch from thermal to visual camera views at the click of a button would be beneficial.

In addition to the drone, the office will also be purchasing a thermal monocular.