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Ga. prison officials search for ways to combat drones, contraband

In the first six months of this year, they’ve spotted 35 drones

By C1 Staff

FORSYTH, Ga. — From 2013 through 2016, Georgia prison officials saw a total of three drones flying near state prisons. During the first six months of 2017, they saw 35.

Georgia DOC Director of Professional Standards Clay Nix told Fox 5 Atlanta that they’ve recovered contraband from the drones, typically containing cell phones, chargers and tobacco. But they’re afraid drones could soon drop guns to the inmates.

“I would say the biggest fear for any of us is a gun be introduced into the prison system because with that they could overtake our staff,” Nix said.

Inmates can guide the drone from inside to the prison to a specific location using an app on contraband cell phones.

Nix told the news station that corrections officers are now trained to look up and listen when they’re outside to prevent aerial attacks.

“Before you weren’t looking over the fence because nothing was coming over – maybe thrown over the fence – but it wasn’t flying over the fence,” he said. “They’re looking up now. They’re listening when they’re outside... knowing that this is occurring.”

Nix said the DOC will test a new early detection system for drones at one prison soon.