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Officers Graduate First DCS Flight Training

David Rookhuyzen and Green Valley News

Sahuarita Arizona Police Officers Graduate Flight Training

On Saturday August 27, 2016, nine officers of the Sahuarita Arizona Police Department became the first police officers to complete the Drone Control Systems remote pilot drone flight training class.  The course concluded with a staged traffic accident that each officer was required to work and gather the required video and photos that would typically be gathered using a standard digital camera only in this instance the department’s Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) platforms were utilized to complete the operations.

The flight training began in late June of this year and took place on Saturday mornings.  The training covered the basics of sUAS technology.  Basic setup and maintenance of the equipment.  How to upgrade the equipment firmware and the basics in how to operate and control the sUAS.

Over the course of the next several weeks, the officers worked with DCS pilots on best practice uses of sUAS flight operations, manual control of the drone using both visual observers and flight operations from the display only.  This proved to be challenging for everyone as working with an observer to monitor the drone’s flight while the pilot flew and monitored only from the heads up display presented officers with increased complexity with the loss of depth perception.  As each officers worked to improve his or her skill set the training continued to progress and allow the officers to grow their ability to control the equipment with more and more precision.

Just going out and purchasing a sUAS for the department was not deemed sufficient as this would be the first Police Department in Arizona to fully integrate sUAS and a full turnkey software platform capable of tracking, monitoring, and providing pilot notifications to the officers when the pilot is formally released into operation in late November to early December.  Sahuarita is proactive in making sure officers have the required training, understanding, and Part 107 remote pilot certificate necessary to allow the department to fully integrate this new technology into their day-to-day operations while ensuring a level of public safety and public transparency that will prove to be crucial in their use of sUAS to provide law enforcement with advantages that only large police agencies have with current manned aircraft.

The introduction of sUAS to the department allows the Town’s police department to reduce their reliance on manned aircraft for aerial support for video and photos that up until now were only available with manned aircraft.  This new capability will ultimately reduce the town’s cost for aerial support costs by allowing the department to use the sUAS fleet to augment crime scene, traffic investigations, and search and rescue operations.  The police department’s trained pilots will ultimately be able to provide aerial support to other agencies whenever necessary to bring this new and growing capability to those agencies that need it the most.

DCS has aimed our product toward the “First Responder”.  Our ability to provide customized flight training, fleet management, fleet monitoring, and pilot notifications places DCS at the forefront of sUAS products.  Over the past year, we have continuously worked to hone our ability to deliver the right product, training, and solutions that make the use of sUAS or “Drones” an acceptable platform.  By ensuring the sUAS is always under pilot command we envision more and more departments coming to DCS to obtain our unique and one-of-a-kind solution.

At DCS we have the unique ability to work with departments to understand their needs and demands for sUAS and with our LADDAS® product we are able to provide a quick solution to their needs at a cost that is far below that of manned aircraft and do not carry the liabilities and risks that manned aircraft pose.  With LADDAS® departments are always aware of the fleet and where the sUAS is being operated, who is operating the sUAS, what the sUAS is being used to perform or monitor, and which pilot is operating the sUAS.  With automatic flight playback and auditing of all flights to include fleet management the department is able to demonstrate compliance with the FAA rules and regulations as well as provide the public with a clear picture as to why, where, and when the department is using their sUAS.  This ensures a positive view of the sUAS fleet and over time this approach will ultimately aid in a full acceptance of sUAS for first response use.

If you or your department are interested in how DCS can bring this solution to your teams, please contact us at (520) 686-4303 or email us at info@uavfms.com

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Updated: January 25, 2018 — 7:21 pm
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