Public Safety Drone News: LEDA Conference, Autel Drop System, Hardin County Sheriff Highlight

Welcome to this week's Unmanned Tactical Group and Pilot Institute's Public Safety UAS Update. This week, we're going to talk about the Law Enforcement Drone Association's training conference, which just wrapped up in Nashville. We're also going to discuss Autel's new drop system that they created for the Max 4T. Finally, we'll wrap up our agency highlight with the Hardin County Sheriff's Office in , where they used an M300 as a distractionary device on a high-risk tactical operation. It's going to be an exciting webcast, so let's dive in.

LEDA Conference Nashville

First up, the Law Enforcement Drone Association just concluded an outstanding conference in Nashville. This is the best hands-on, scenario-driven training conference I've ever attended. They hold these all over the country, and their National Conference is coming up in September. If you're a law enforcement pilot, I highly recommend attending one of these regional trainings or the national training.

We discussed multiple topics during the conference, including drones as , tactical entry operations, and from a disaster response perspective. We even delved a bit into counter-UAS investigations for those nefarious drone operations that might be happening in your jurisdiction.

What's also great about it is the breakout sessions. They covered supervisor tracks and debated whether public aircraft operations were better. Do you need both crash crime scene reconstruction? They also had actual hands-on scenarios that you could fly to learn best practices and understand how other agencies are doing it. It's one of the best conferences out there to gain hands-on experience and network in one amazing location.

What's also impressive about the Law Enforcement Drone Association conference is that 118 pilots got certified to the Law Enforcement Drone Association's NIST standard. They're trying to maintain the best practices across the country, ensuring all pilots meet the minimum requirements for law enforcement responses. Outstanding work, Law Enforcement Drone Association! I can't wait to attend the next one.

Autel Robotics Drop System

Next up, we have the Autel drop system which was just unveiled on Facebook by John McBride at one of the conferences he was attending. Autel has designed a drop system that plugs directly into the Max 4T.

Public Safety Drone News: Leda Conference, Autel Drop System, Hardin County Sheriff Highlight 1

This system has four different payload drop systems, or you can drop all of them simultaneously. This would be a really cool system to start testing, and it's worth taking a look to see what its max payload capability might be. This could be a game-changer for all the Autel users that are wanting to utilize a payload drop system for moving a flotation device out to a distressed swimmer or dropping in a cell phone or a first aid kit for a welfare concern or a lost hiker. It's a game-changer for Autel pilots out there, and I'm really excited to see how this drop system is going to play out. Outstanding work, Autel. I'm looking forward to that system.

Hardin County Sheriff's Office up in Kentucky

For this week's agency highlight, we're going to highlight the Hardin County Sheriff's Office up in Kentucky. Earlier this month, the deputies were dispatched to a call about a man with a rifle. While en route, once they got close to the suspect, the suspect immediately started shooting at the officers and nearby civilians. The suspect eventually retreated into a residence where he barricaded himself. The Special Response Team, or SRT, ended up going to that scene where they also called out their drone team.

The drone team utilized a DJI M300, running the H-20TQ payload. Using that drone, they were able to locate the suspect and track his movements from inside the house and into the garage. Anytime they tried to move ground personnel around, they also observed him start shooting at any of the officers moving. They ended up using that drone to provide valuable information to ground personnel so that they knew when it was safe to maneuver or not.

Eventually, they utilized that drone as a distractionary device, which is some outstanding work. This system is a tool; it's not designed to always be safe and sometimes, it's going to end up taking fire. What ended up happening was the suspect did exactly that; he turned his AR-15 towards that drone and started firing at it. The drone ended up taking five shots; it eventually did go down, but during that time, they were able to position their tactical team in a safe position, and that eventually led to the safe apprehension of the individual.

Now, the suspect is facing multiple felony charges for a myriad of things, including attempted murder, attempted murder of a peace officer (the deputy that was immediately taking rounds), and a federal charge for taking down an aircraft. We'll see how the handles this case. It'll be interesting to follow. Hopefully, they follow through with this event because it needs to be known that you can't be shooting down drones with an AR-15, especially during a public safety event.

Outstanding work by the Hardin County Sheriff's Office and the deputies who were flying those drones. I'm glad this incident ended up with the safe apprehension of the suspect.

That wraps up this week's and Unmanned Tactical Groups Public Safety UAS news update. Thanks for following along with this one. It was a fun webcast to do this week, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Pay attention to the Unmanned Tactical Groups webpage; we have a lot of upcoming courses going on all over the . If you don't see one in your region, reach out to us. We would love to come to your agency and host a class, so please reach out to us for that.

Also, we're building out more and more online courses, so visit our webpage as well and take a look at our upcoming courses that we have for online portals. We're going to be hosting those both through the Pilot Institute and through our website, so don't hesitate to head over there. We'll have some of those classes on demand. I look forward to seeing you on the next one. Thanks, and see you next time.

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Greg Reverdiau
Greg Reverdiau
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