Sheriff's Office Announces Adoption of Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Program

Draganflyer Commander

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday the roll out of its newest technology, the Draganflyer Commander drone.

Originally purchased in September 2016, the agency’s law enforcement division and general counsel’s office trained and researched the use of unmanned aircraft systems for nearly two years. Through advanced training, development of policy and procedures as well as an in-depth look at Florida privacy laws, the sheriff’s office announced Wednesday during a media event, the new technology is ready for deployment.

“We are very pleased to finally announce the capabilities of this technology,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “This wasn’t a decision we made overnight as it took several months of research and training. This equipment is crucial to disaster response, search and rescue missions and tactical deployment during a major incident.”

Benefits of the Commander include less disruption at an active scene, obtaining closer proximity to a major incident and capabilities of flying in inclement weather. Operators must attend original equipment manufacturer (OEM) training and pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Remote Aircraft Knowledge Exam.

Learn more about the Draganflyer Commander by visiting