SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) The first unmanned aerial system in Santa Cruz County launched at the beginning of last year, and over the course of the year, it was deployed 21 times.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said the UAS has been used in search and rescue operations, suspect searches, crime scene documentation, high-risk incidents involving guns and serving search warrants The Sheriff's Office said in its annual report that it has proven to be a valuable tool for helping law enforcement, but also increasing public safety.
The UAS team is made up of 14 members of the Sheriff's Office, and 11 of them are certified under Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 part 107 to fly drones commercially. The other three are in the process of getting their licenses.
The 14 team members train every month to work on coordinating multiple drone deployments, critical incident response, use of visual observers and updates, according to the Sheriff's Office.