Atlanta, Ga. (CW69 News at 10pm)

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(Lawrenceville, Georgia)  A missing Hall County man is home with his family after walking away from his Gainesville home on Friday, April 17 with help from the Gwinnett County Police Aviation Unit.

The Gwinnett Police Aviation Unit received a request from the Hall County Sheriff’s Department around 12:30 pm last Friday to assist in finding a 40-year old male that was missing since 7:30 am. The male had recently moved from Florida and was not familiar with the area. He was not currently taking his prescription medicine, and his family was worried for his safety due to his diminished mental capacity.  Within 54 minutes of taking off from Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field, the Aviation Unit located the male in the woods approximately one mile from his residence.  He was reunited with his family by Hall County deputies in good health.  The male told deputies that he walked out of the woods because he could hear his name being called from the helicopter’s PA system.

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This incident is one of the first noteworthy finds in the Aviation Unit’s new helicopter.  The new helicopter is an MD 530F with impressive new technology to assist the unit in the field.  The technology includes a PA system which allows the pilots to make announcements with vital information for the community in the area.  It is also equipped with a forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera system which displays heat signatures from vehicles, animals, and people that assists them in locating people at night.

The Aviation Unit consists of two pilots and one pilot-in-training who are also sworn Gwinnett County Police Officers.  The Aviation Unit routinely assists neighboring counties, as well as all areas of the Police Department as a locating tool for finding missing children/adults, suspects, vehicles, and property.  They also play a critical role in coordinating with uniform officers during foot or vehicle pursuits, K9 searches, and incidents effecting traffic on the roadways.

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