Gary at sUAS news has an important story on what looks like the first blanket permission to use sUAS (in this case, a RC multicopter with a camera) by a law enforcement agency in the US:
Mesa County, Colorado— Recently the Sheriff’s Office received notification from the
Federal Aviation Administration of their approval to fly the Unmanned Aerial System
(UAS)—with some restrictions, anywhere in Mesa County. Previously, the FAA had only
approved a one year Certificate Of Authorization (COA) to fly within a one mile area at the
Mesa County Landfill.
The UAS equipment tested at the Sheriff’s Office is a Draganflyer X6 model. The
Canadian made X6 is on lease at no charge to the Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the way
in testing UAS for law enforcement purposes. The Sheriff’s Office had submitted their
application for a COA, asking for county-wide approval to fly the Draganflyer, last June.
We are one of only a few law enforcement agencies in the Country currently flying UAS
and this marks the largest flight approval for law enforcement to date.
Quartermaster Ben Miller, who is one of two Draganflyer pilots for the Sheriff’s Office will
be on hand to fly the Draganflyer and do media interviews at 10 a.m. on Thursday,
February 10th. This media event will be at the Sheriff’s Office front parking lot. We are
doing this onetime event due to all local media inquiring about this new COA.