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On May 26 2020, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners passed Resolution 2020-316 authorizing the submission of a Public Declaration Letter to the FAA for the use and authorization of operation of a public aircraft consisting of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has purchased a sUAS, commonly referred to as a drone. The CCSO Remote Pilots in Command of all operations involving the drone are FAA licensed.


The use of UAS, commonly referred to as “drones”, is one of the most promising and powerful new technologies to improve public safety response to disasters (manmade or natural), support of relief operations, risk assessment, hazardous material investigation and response, damage assessment, search and rescue, locating missing persons, event pre-planning, incident situational awareness, and maintaining first responder safety. UAS are intended to enhance officer safety, produce effective materials for training and to produce an additional method of collecting evidence to prosecute those who violate the law. 


It is the policy of the CCSO to establish procedures for the use of UAS to assist sheriff’s officers in the performance of their duties that serve a legitimate law enforcement function, a public safety interest, and to provide for the well-being of the citizens of Cumberland County, and the State of New Jersey. During any deployment of a County owned or contracted UAS, safety will be the primary concern followed by the incorporation of measures to prevent inadvertent privacy intrusions and to provide strict guidelines when a bona fide law enforcement purpose exists. The intentional gathering of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is strictly prohibited in the absence of lawfully obtained Search Warrant or Communications Data Warrant prior to employing a UAS.