There are several different law enforcement drone pilot training programs out there, but the important thing is to make sure you have more than just the classroom information.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PART 107 AND COA
Many online Part 107 training programs just teach you enough to pass the test. Largely absent from those classes is any information about how to actually fly a drone, so hands-on and in-person training is a must.
Under a COA, the FAA allows police departments to self-certify their drone operators, so that puts quite a bit of responsibility on UAS program coordinators to make decisions about training.
KEYS TO A BASIC POLICE DRONE TRAINING PROGRAM
Any law enforcement drone training program you consider implementing should include as many of the following items as possible:
At Skyfire, our Public Safety UAV Training Course offers all of these, both in the classroom and in practice, over a two-day period, and allows you to operate safely and with confidence in your knowledge of UAS rules, regulations and procedures.
The bottom line is that there is no right way to start a law enforcement drone program–it will be different for each agency, their political climate, their budget and their mission–but if you are going to start a UAS program, there are several things you need to ensure your program has.
Obviously, the more equipment, services, and training you get, the higher the price tag of a program, but there are lots of grants to help pay for you UAS program, and Skyfire can help you identify which grants may be right for you.
Starting a police drone program without a plan, training, political approval or some type of FAA authorization would be like operating a fire arm with no training – it’s not safe, it’s not responsible, and it will likely land you in hot water in some way or another.
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