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Infrared cameras track in rescues, fires & crime

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

When law enforcement tracked down the Boston marathon bomb suspect -- a helicopter equipped with infrared cameras helped confirm a person was hiding in a boat.  That same equipment is being used in criminal searches, rescues and at fires right here in Erie County.

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Erie County Sheriff's Department Air One helicopter recently parked outside the Adam's Mark in downtown Buffalo

Captain Kevin Caffery operates the county sheriff's Departments Air One helicopter. 

"The infrared technology is one of our mainstays on the helicopter," said Caffery.  "The technology is just absolutely fabulous."

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Captain Kevin Caffery is the pilot of the Erie County Sheriff's Departments Air One

Sophisticated infrared cameras assist law enforcement -- from rescues in Zoar Valley -- to assisting Buffalo Firefighters ...

"We certainly are involved in all kinds of different law enforcement investigation," said Caffery.  "We assist the Buffalo Fire Department a lot with our infrared camera."

The high-tech cameras allow airborne law enforcement to quickly locate and zero in on a rescue.

"And if they have a cell phone, and they're in Zoar Valley, we just tell them take your cell phone out and hold it up, and even just the light form the cell phone -- we can spot that in seconds," said Caffery. "We're very fortunate to have it in Erie County."

But the equipment is pricey.  The infrared camera used on Air One is more than $200,000 But Captain Caffery says if it saves one life or capture a violent criminal -- it is worth "every dime".