Sheriff’s Office utilizes deputy’s flying experience

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     After Jones County Deputy Sheriff Travis McNally privately secured his pilot’s license, his training and expertise is being sought by the Sheriff’s Department.

     “We have a great need for involving private aircraft in search and rescue,” said Sheriff Greg Graver as he spoke to the board of supervisors at their June 23 meeting.

     Graver wanted to give the board a heads up regarding future invoices from the Monticello airport, in which McNally’s training and flights are based.

     “We want to be able to utilize Travis’ skills if needed,” added Graver.

     Graver shared that there have been instances in the near past where a private pilot’s services were needed to help locate an individual, whether a missing camper at Camp Courageous or an overturned canoe on the Maquoketa River.

     “The drone works great for small area searches,” noted Graver of drone camera/video surveillance. McNally said he could fly over a large area and cover more ground in a matter of an hour or more.

     Graver said the Monticello airport has agreed to make a plane available at at time if needed. The invoices would reflect McNally’s time flying, plane rental and fuel.

     “He already lives in Monticello, which works great,” Graver said of ease of access to the airport.

     McNally started flying, a passion of his, a year and a half ago. He completed his recommended hours in April, and continues to earn additional hours.

     “There’s a place in law enforcement and emergency services for search and rescue,” McNally said. “There’s a benefit to having this.”

     McNally said ideally it’d be good to have two people up in a plane during a search and rescue mission. One flying and the other literally searching the ground or water.

     “We’re in the infantry stages with this project and we’ll build from there,” said McNally.

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach asked whether a service like this could be offered to adjacent counties. Graver said the sheriff’s department typically offers its drone services to area counties as a shared resource. Search and rescue via a plane would depend on the circumstances.

     “Typically we don’t bill other agencies for shared services,” noted Graver.

     Manternach commented that the search and rescue program was a good thing to start.

In other county business:

     • The board approved an appropriation resolution transferring budgetary authority between various departments for year-end expenditures. The spending authority was taken from the Memorial Hall budget.

     • The board approved an interfund transfer resolution of $5,800 from Capital Projects to Debt Service.

     • The board tabled approval to award a bid for a small crawler dozer for Secondary Roads. Two bids were received: Altorfer for $147,286 and Martin Equipment for $162,500.

     A bid will be awarded following review by the county engineer.

     • The board approved naming Jenna Lovaas and Kaci Ginn as co-HIPPA Privacy Officers for the county.

     • The board set a public hearing for Tuesday, July 7 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss a nuisance located at 8356 Slide Rock Rd., Anamosa.

     The board also approved a 30-day extension for a nuisance located at 23713 Highway 38, Monticello.

     • The board removed tax liens on 12601 Prospect St. and 10623 Main St., both in Center Junction. Payments regarding delinquent EIRUSS water/sewer bills were received after the 30-day notice was sent out to property owners. Payment was made directly to EIRUSS.

     • The board approved the third and final consideration to adopt the Tanning Facility Ordinance in Jones County.

     • The board approved a revised 28E agreement for mental health/disability services with the East Central Region.

     Some minor changes included adding behavioral mental health services for children and establishing a petition process to add new county members to the region.


Subscriber Login