Sheriffs Create Drone Working Group to Lead on Safety, Security and Privacy Issues

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Alexandria, VA – The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) today announced the establishment of an UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drone) working group to create a template that governs law enforcement’s use of UAS.

The working group will serve as a coalescing group to bring together all elements of using and operating drones for commerce, recreational and law enforcement purposes. The working group is comprised of Sheriffs and industry experts and is the first of many steps toward the continued commitment of NSA to members and the communities they serve. The Chair of the working group is Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn of Wood County, OH, and Sheriff Justin Smith of Larimer County, CO, serves as the Co-Chair.

“Drones have become a fixture in law enforcement to support them in keeping their communities safe and sheriffs have been at the forefront of the issues and the regulations related to them. Sheriffs around the country are the leaders on this issue and will tackle future challenges and we are proud to have Sheriffs Wasylyshyn and Smith to lead the group,” said NSA Executive Director Jonathan Thompson.

NSA has been involved with UAS by law enforcement for over 15 years. With the rapid advancements and increased use of UAS by law enforcement, the private sector and hobbyists present challenges like those seen in other areas of technological advances such as privacy and security concerns. As this technology evolves, a myriad of issues is arising. The group will be a neutral forum for discussions that can advise governments and others on a variety of needs, including but not limited to standards of use, legal limitations and obligations of use, operations, emergency response, commercial capabilities and challenges. Moreover, this group will be open to membership from federal, state and local government representatives as well as private and other public entities.

About the National Sheriffs’ Association:
The National Sheriffs’ Association is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the U.S., representing more than 3,000 elected Sheriffs across the nation, and with a total membership of more than 14,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among Sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice. Throughout its seventy-nine-year history, NSA has also served as an information resource for all law enforcement, as well as State governments and the Federal government.