High Tech Search

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

November 23, 2005
With few solid leads, North Augusta Public Safety is relying on some high tech tools from surrounding departments. Crimeteam 12 has more on how these other agencies are helping with the search.

A helicopter came in from Columbia, South Carolina with infrared technology to let the helicopter crew see body heat. And a team of bloodhounds from the city of Aiken is also on the job, trying to catch the shooter's scent.

Out in the woods and in abandoned houses are areas with many places to hide. And many places to look. So seeing everthing from a helicopter above helps.

It's got a heat-sensing instrument. It's able to pick up heat from any source from
below," Said Sargent Tim Pearson

The South Carolina Law enforcement division, or SLED, has choppers ready to deploy at a moment's notice. They can see any living thing from above because body heat forms the image. Satellite photos also help them plan their course.

This time they had to search the area on foot, heavily armed, to see if the gunman was hiding out.

After they cleared the first house, they were tipped off by a neighbor about a second house that's right back there in the woods.

Police rely on tips, but this tip was a dead end.

Hounds are another option in the search. Bloodhounds are a breed that naturally hunt in packs by scent. They can sniff a person out of almost any house or building

"In yesterday's case, they suspected a possible track from a scene." "If we get any kind of lead that would necessitate bringing that in, we would use that as a resource." Said Sgt. Tim Pearson.

By bloodhound, helicopter, or foot, police leave no stone unturned.

SLED uses a system called forward looking infrared. This was originally developed for the Military, and some argue it is actually better than night vision. It forms images from infrared energy, so it works in complete darkness or when the path to an object is partly blocked.

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