Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program (UAV)
Want to learn more about our drone?
- The Sheriff's Office obtained the 3-pound Draganflyer X6 unmanned helicopter through a mutual agreement with Draganfly Innovations Inc. in the fall of 2009, for free.
- This unique partnership allowed us to navigate the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) process.
- Test the potential law enforcement capabilities without extensive financial costs.
- At the time, the UAV programs in law enforcement across the country were less than five agencies, so this was really a pilot program for us.
- We worked for nearly twelve months with the FAA to gain approval for a Certificate of Authorization (COA).
- We tested the Draganflyer X6 in a one square mile area at our County Landfill (per the restrictions of the FAA/COA).
- Draganflyer X6 provides real-time viewing on the ground by the operator:
- Flies for about 15 minutes
- Carries one of the following cameras:
- Still camera
- Color video camera
- Infrared camera.
By the fall of 2010, we had modified our COA agreement with the FAA to allow us to fly our UAV system anywhere in Mesa County, Colorado, during daytime hours. This greatly extended our testing ability, as well as allowed us to use these systems operationally, and we were able to assist the Colorado State Patrol with fatality crashes (aerial photos), the Grand Junction Fire Department with the White Hall fire (hot spot sensing and aerial photos), suspect apprehension and more.
Want to know more about our program?
- Our program has flown hundreds of missions.
- We most often use it for:
- Crime scene photography.
- Search and rescue missions.
- With aerial crime scene photography, we can build useful three-dimensional models for:
- Search and rescue missions:
- Aerial views can be enhanced with the use of infrared technology,
- Provides a better view of anything with a heat signature.
- We have infrequently used the system:
- Attempt to locate dangerous fugitives in wooded areas.
- Assisted arson investigators in identifying heat sources on structure fires.
Watch our Falcon Drone in action
Frequently asked questions
- Know Before you Fly website.
- Drones on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website.
- Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) website.
- Dragonfly Innovations website.
- Airborne Public Safety Association (ALEA) website.
UAS Program Director
- Lieutenant Eric Sperber
- Phone 970-244-3251
- Email email@example.com
- Public Information Officer
- Phone 970-812-3849
- Email PIO.Sheriff@mesacounty.us