Oregon Sheriff’s Office Kicks off UAS Program

A Pendleton, Ore.-area sheriff’s office has launched its new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program, which will augment missions such as search and rescue (SAR) and emergency management.

The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office (USCO) says drones are continuing to help public safety agencies find missing people faster and provide assistance to distressed victims in many types of disaster incidents.

During a SAR mission, the sheriff’s office explains, the technology can help officers view a larger area much faster than with traditional methods.

For the past several months, UCSO has been consulting with the Pendleton UAS Range for advice and direction on how to use the aircraft.

Sergeant Dwight Johnson is managing the program – which is still in its infancy – and has obtained remote pilot certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. UCSO says it is in the process of recruiting additional staff members to become certified.

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