The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office SUAS (Small unmanned aircraft system) flies in support of the following operations: situational awareness, search and rescue, tactical deployments, aerial visual perspectives for crowd control and traffic incident management, temporary perimeter security, crime scene documentation, collision scene documentation, and disaster response.
The Sheriff’s Office currently has 5 personnel with remote pilot license under the FAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107). Three additional deputies are in training to obtain their license.
Additionally the Sheriff’s Office has 2 certificates of waiver granted by the FAA. The first waiver is the ability to enter into Aberdeen Proving Grounds class E airspace which boards a limited amount of the west end of the county (2017-ESA-737-P107) – At or below 400 feet AGL and under the jurisdiction of the KAPG control tower. The second waiver allows for nighttime operations under 14 CFR, part 107.29.
The Sheriff’s Office currently operates five drones. One drone is to specifically support indoor operation, with 4 others designed for outdoor flights. The Sheriff’s Office SUAS also have low light cameras, along with FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared), or thermal capabilities. This allows the Sheriff’s Office to search for persons or objects giving off heat signature during low light or nighttime conditions. In 2019 the Sheriff’s Office acquired the Matrice a SUAS which has a more sophisticated FLIR and longer range and flight time. This will allow the Sheriff’s Office pilots to search longer periods of time without have to land.
The following are examples of missions that the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office SUAS flew in support of in 2019: Assisted in multiple ALICE (Active Shooter Drills) with the Cecil County Public Schools, Assisted multiple jurisdictions to include MSP, DNR, other surrounding agencies, The Cecil County fair and Rally for hope Motor Cycle Ride.
For additional information on the Sheriff's Office SUAS Program, please view the 2019 Annual Report