Hays Co SO, San Marcos PD and Texas State University team up for drone program

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HAYS COUNTY (KXAN) — The Hays County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the San Marcos Police Department and Texas State University to share a fleet of drones. 

The program is called, HURT — Hays Unmanned Robotics Team. According to the HCSO, since the programs started last year, the drones have been used in more than 100 flights that included flights in Llano County in October 2018 for flooding damage surveying. 

Mark Butaud, the director of the HURT, says the drones are changing the way law enforcement does its job. 

“Not only police departments, you got fire departments that are staring drone programs, insurance companies that are staring programs, corporations that are starting drone programs,” says Butaud. “And the reason they are doing that is that they are realizing that technology, and the usage of these drones is making things more efficient.”

There are approximately 10 drones in HURT. The drones cost Hays County just over $54,000. 

“The cost of the drone program is minuscule — compared to what the cost of operating an aircraft would be,” says Butaud. 

Butaud also says they would like to add more agencies in Hays County to HURT and expand the drone program. 

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