Skip to main content

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.
Photograph of Deputies flying a drone and standing on the top of vehicle

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.

Photograph of Drone with camera on the bottom flying

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:
    • Investigators.
    • Prosecutors.
    • Juries.
  • 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.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program Logo with Mesa County Colorado Sheriff's Office logo with wings to the side

Watch our Falcon Drone in action

Frequently asked questions


Contact us

UAS Program Director

Media inquiries