Officers fighting crime from the sky - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Officers fighting crime from the sky

By Stephen Hooker - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Law enforcement is getting some help in the fight against crime, and its coming from the air.

Ever dream of making your hobby your job? Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Marcus Kim did and has. "Yeah, it's pretty cool!" he exclaimed.

That hobby involves building and flying remote control helicopters to fight crime. "I've been doing this hobby pretty much all my life, and coming to the Sheriff's Department - something I've always wanted to do - tying these two together," said Deputy Kim, "Can't really beat it."

The remote control helicopter has $2,800 worth of bits, pieces, wires, batteries, and cameras. It's also the coolest surveillance tool in law enforcement.

But it's not just one chopper. The Columbia Police Department ponied up too. "These helicopters are for surveillance only and the capture of suspects," said Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott.

Officers showed a demo of the chase of a suspect with the help of the choppers. The bad guy slipped out the back, but the chopper's cameras spotted him. Officers knew where he was and captured him.

The main feature is that no one's in danger. In fact, "We'll be able to do surveillance and not put an officer's life in jeopardy," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

"You can't ask for more," said Deputy Kim.

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