A drone operator with a Louisiana sheriff's department used thermal imaging and located teen runaways as they were hiding in the woods last week.

Around 10:15 p.m. on March 8, Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched near the city of Haughton to help search for three male juveniles who had run away from Camp Minden’s Youth Challenge Program.

Since it was dark and a ground search in the wooded area would be difficult, a deputy launched a drone equipped with a thermal-imaging camera and spotted the teens almost immediately.

The drone operator was able to show deputies were two of the teens were hiding, and the deputies went directly to their location, where the runaways surrendered.

The third teen made a run for it. Even though the drone followed his movements for a time, deputies were not able to locate him.

They have been in contact with Camp Minden officials, and the teen is still considered a runaway.

Sheriff Julian Whittington said the drone accomplished the goal of finding the runaways safely, and the drone technology is a "priority" for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.

“When we have the ability to launch a drone and immediately locate people, like we did with these teens hiding in the woods at night, that’s a success," Sheriff Whittington said. "Our next case might be finding a lost child, looking for an elderly person who has wandered off, or searching for an armed robbery suspect. We will be ready... and we will find you.”

Let us know what you think about this technology in the comments, and read the full text of the sheriff's office's Facebook post below:


Cops Crash 4-Year-Old's Birthday Party With Surprise Gift

WATCH: Cop Falsely Tells Uber Driver That Filming a Traffic Stop Is Illegal


A drone operator with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office used thermal imaging and located three teen runaways as they were hiding in the wooded area off of Highway 80 around 10:30 p.m. last week.

Around 10:15 p.m. on March 8, Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the Haughton area to help search for three teen male juveniles who had run away from Camp Minden’s Youth Challenge Program. They were reportedly seen near Highway 80 just west of Camp Minden, and a Haughton Police Department officer informed the deputies that he saw the teenagers run into the woods. Patrol deputies started their search in the wooded area near the vicinity of Showdown Saloon on Highway 80, and finding them safe and sound was priority number one.

But it was dark, and a ground search in the wooded area would be difficult.

A Bossier deputy who was recently trained as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operator also came to the scene to provide assistance. The deputy quickly deployed the drone that was equipped with thermal imaging, and within one minute of launch, he had the teens in sight in the middle of the woods.

The drone operator was able to show the deputies were the teens were hiding, and the deputies went directly to their location and ordered them out of the ditch where they were hiding; they complied and were turned over to Camp Minden officials.

A third teenager, however, decided to make a run for it. In the drone video footage, you can see him running through the woods, crossing through a body of water, and then running across both lanes of traffic on I-20. Running across an interstate is already an unsafe situation, but when a person does so in the dark, it’s even more dangerous. In the video, you’ll see the teen cross the second lane of I-20. Although he made it across, you’ll notice in the video that within a matter of seconds, an 18-wheeler comes driving by….and it’s 10:30 at night. Deputies were not able to locate him, but they have been in contact with Camp Minden officials, and the teen is still considered a runaway.

The uses of drones to give deputies an aerial view when searching for runaways, lost people, criminals, or for providing an overheard view during events like floods or other disasters is why Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington is encouraged to have their use.

“Having these drones is a priority,” said Sheriff Whittington. “When we have the ability to launch a drone and immediately locate people like we did with these teens hiding in the woods at night, that’s a success. Our next case might be finding a lost child, looking for an elderly person who has wandered off, or searching for an armed robbery suspect. We will be ready…and we will find you.”


VA Hospital Removes Portraits of Trump & New VA Secy Hung by Vets

Watch a McDonald's Worker Jump Out of Drive-Thru to Help Unconscious Cop

Baby Sees Military Dad Clearly for the First Time With New Glasses

Kid Rock Shoots Foreign-Made Grills Out of the Sky With a Shotgun