Cops and Courts
According to Cannon Air Force Base Public Affairs, a member of the base security forces squadron faces 11 months imprisonment, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to the lowest enlisted grade, and a bad conduct discharge following an Oct. 22 court martial conviction for repeated use of drugs.
Airman 1st Class Ryan Edmonds was found guilty of snorting cocaine at another airman’s house at Cannon on Oct. 19, 2002, using cocaine on at least two other occasions while stationed at Cannon, and using methamphetamine and marijuana about 20 times in mid- to late 2002.
In the Air Force, a security forces squadron is comparable to a civilian police department and Edmonds’ role was comparable to that of a police officer.
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Thanks to a $12,000 grant through the federal Technology Transfer Program, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office was able to purchase a thermal imaging device that has so far been used to apprehend two criminal suspects fleeing police.
The most recent use of the device was on Wednesday when sheriff’s office personnel spotted a man crouching in a field two miles away from the officers searching for him.
According to Undersheriff Doug Bowman, the device can detect temperature differences of as little as 1/10 of a degree and is useful not only for detecting fleeing subjects but also for finding lost children and people who may be too seriously injured to call for help.
“It’s a phenomenal tool that is very great to our agency,” Bowman said. “I don’t think the citizens know what kind of asset it is to have that $12,000 piece of equipment.”
While police dogs are often helpful in finding subjects, Bowman said the thermal imaging device can be used when the police dogs are unavailable, when police are searching for a heat source rather than a person, or when there is no light available at all.
“The nice thing about it is we don’t always have canines readily available,” Bowman said. “That thermal imager can do things the canines can’t. It doesn’t have to have any ambient light to operate but works off a heat source.”
Cops and Courts is compiled by CNJ staff writer Darrell Todd Maurina. He can be contacted at 763-6991 or: