The Apache Junction Police Department used its drone to find a woman in distress who had wandered into the desert area near Lost Dutchman and Goldfield Road.
AJPD dispatch received the call of the woman in distress at 1:16 p.m. Sept. 2. Apache Junction Officers arrived on-scene and quickly joined forces with the Superstition Fire and Medical District, Cpl. Marshall Harshman, AJPD’s public information officer, said.
“They surrounded the desert area near the location the woman entered hoping to spot her. Due to the nature of the report, officers and paramedics felt they needed to locate the woman as soon as possible,” he said.
“Officer Joel Eagleton, Apache Junction Police Department’s drone pilot, responded to the area and launched the AJPD drone at 1:38 p.m.. Shortly after the drone took flight, at 1:52 p.m., Officer Eagleton was able to locate the woman approximately one-half mile north of Lost Dutchman Boulevard utilizing the upgraded camera technology that was purchased with the drone. Thanks to the Apache Junction’s drone program, rescue crews were able to quickly get the woman the help that she needed,” Harshman said.
Locating someone in distress quickly is essential, he said.
“That urgency is significantly compounded when searching for people in 100-degree temperatures. The woman involved in this incident was located within 36 minutes of the call being received. It only took 14 minutes to locate the woman after the decision to launch the drone was made. This incident is a real-life demonstration of how effective the drone program is and how it will enhance the safety of those living and recreating in and around Apache Junction,” Harshman said.