New Thermal Technology Helping Somerset Co. Sheriff's Department - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Thermal Technology Helping Somerset Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: Jan 29, 2018 5:43 PM Updated:

SOMERSET COUNTY, Md.- A tiny new piece of technology is making a huge difference for the Somerset County Sheriff's Office. A thermal camera is placed just above Deputy Lemuel White's spotlight on his car.

The camera picks up the heat emitted from objects and makes finding suspects easier. Any irregularity of temperature outside displays as a bright white image on White's laptop screen.

"It works day or night, it doesn't matter. Even in the snow, it's got a built in heater to keep the ice off the camera," White said.

It can reach upwards of 700 feet, and works through glass, trees, and bushes. Even though you may not be able to see someone with your naked eye, the new technology will be able to spot him or her.

Body heat can also transfer to other things, which makes finding suspects easier. In a test run conducted by the Sheriff's Office, deputies found a woman hiding in the grass. Once she got up, the grass was still glowing white.

"I can scan an entire area quicker than somebody on foot. I can be keep moving on the roadway and move my spotlight back and forth," White said.

The thermal camera has been installed for nearly four weeks and has already helped out in several situations.

"We had a foot pursuit in Crisfield, luckily I was in the area roughly 2-3 minutes away. I went to the general area where they called it out. The camera here found a trail where the suspect had recently gone. I located a hot spot on the tree line and directed officers to that spot," White explained.

Although the Somerset County Sheriff's Office only has one thermal camera, deputies say they already made plans to get more in the near future. Another hope of the Sheriff's Office is to purchase a drone with the same thermal technology.

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