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New drone will greatly improve local search and rescue

Hats off to the Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue organization and its president, Michael Neiger, for providing the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office with funds to purchase a new piece of equipment that could end up being very valuable — especially up in this neck of the woods.

Using a $30,000 MibSAR donation, the sheriff’s office plans to buy a Matrice 300 RTK Drone, a specialized drone often used in commercial applications and by law enforcement.

According to a sheriff’s office press release, the drone will literally expand the horizon in helping Marquette County Search and Rescue during fire, flooding, search and rescue and recovery.

It’ll be equipped with state of the art software technology, including infrared spotlights and advanced camera technology, the press release stated.

As a positive aside, the drone will be named ART to honor Michael’s father Art Neiger, who was a 40-year veteran of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Marquette. He was also a Boy Scout Leader, a professor and advisor at Northern Michigan University and helped to set up NMU’s Police Academy.

With the amount of recreating locals and visitors do in area woods, to say nothing about annual hunting seasons of whatever sort, this drone could literally end up saving someone’s life.

This will be the proverbial eye in the sky that police haven’t had.

And this is outstanding community support from a great organization, so we want to recognize Michigan Backcountry Search and Rescue and Neiger publicly for their efforts.

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