Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Program
MISSION:The mission of the Fullerton Police Departments Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program is to provide airborne support to police and emergency operations in a safe, responsible, and transparent manner, for the purpose of increasing the safety and security of citizens in the City of Fullerton.
OVERVIEW:Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as drones, have proven to be a valuable resource for law enforcement, first responders, and during emergency service operations. The Fullerton Police Department and many other law enforcement agencies have adopted drone programs after seeing the benefits and value they provide to improving public safety. Some examples include; providing an overhead view of a specific area or incident for ground personnel, safely clearing the interior of buildings, providing detailed documentation of crime and accident scenes, and searching for lost or missing persons.
HISTORY:The Fullerton Police Department initiated its development of the UAS Program in 2018 and spent the next two years researching the project before its implementation. While developing the program, the Fullerton Police Department studied the use of the UAS technology in public safety operations around the country, while also researching best practices, policies, and procedures regarding the use of UAS technology in law enforcement.
A large portion of the team’s research was an effort to address concerns about public trust, civil liberties, and the public’s right to privacy during the operation of the UAS systems. It is important to note that, out of respect for civil liberties and personal privacy, the Fullerton Police Department UAS Policy specifically prohibits the use of UAS Systems for random surveillance activities, to target a person based solely on individual characteristics, such as, but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation, to harass, intimidate or discriminate against any individual or group. The UAS will not be weaponized. The Fullerton Police Department UAS Team maintains a strict adherence to the 4th amendment to the Constitution and trains regularly to maintain that reputation.
Prior to launching the UAS program, five sworn police officers were trained in the operation of UAS technology, and earned required commercial licenses (FAA Part 107) and certifications necessary to operate UAS’ in the performance of their law enforcement duties. The UAS Program has been approved with a Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration for use as a Police Agency.
MEET THE TEAM:Program Manager: Lieutenant Tony Rios
Program Coordinator: Sergeant Brandon Clyde
Chief Maintenance Officer & Pilot: Corporal Peter Ryu
Chief Pilot: Officer Luis Ramirez
Pilot: Officer Matt Kalscheuer
Pilot: Officer Long Phan
Pilot: Corporal Austin Grogan
Pilot: Officer Max Raj
- Fullerton Police Department Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Operations Policy #606
- City of Fullerton website on use of UAS’s
- UAS FAQ’s
- PowerPoint Presentation to Council
- Know Before You Fly is an education campaign to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)
- The Federal Aviation Administration provides guidelines for hobby, recreational and commercial use of model aircrafts, including drones
- Effective 12/21/2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft (including a drone) must register with the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft System registry before they fly outdoors
- The Academy of Model Aeronautics is an organization which provides information rules and regulations for recreational UAS use. They have published a safety code