Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department cleared to fly drones over people

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The Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department has received a four‐year waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) over people.

The FAA approved the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department waiver as part of the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s (UAS) Integration Pilot Program.

The BCSD is the first law enforcement agency in North Dakota and second county law enforcement agency in the nation to receive a waiver to routinely conduct UAS operations over people using a drone. The department uses a DJI Mavic 2 series equipped with a ParaZero SafeAir parachute recovery system.

BCSD deputy Tom Schroeder says, “This waiver will not only enhance efforts in Burleigh County but also state wide.” The department currently has 5 drones used in planning, crash reconstruction, emergency response, fleeing subjects, and documenting crime scenes.