Author: Ted Lawson, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Joint SAFECOM-NCSWIC Technology Policy Committee Federal Lead
According to the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, more than 1,500 state and local public safety organizations have reported the recent purchase of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), an increase of approximately 500 organizations reporting purchases since 2018. Also, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has seen a dramatic surge in the number of non-hobbyist UAS, commonly referred to as a “drone,” registrations and estimates the number of non-hobbyist UAS will swell significantly by 2024. Needless to say, the use of UAS—both generally and for public safety purposes—has seen a significant increase in the past several years and will only continue to grow.
Industry and government organizations have a notable number of resources for developing a UAS program in the public safety context; however, tracking down every available resource is cumbersome and time consuming, and many public safety agencies are unsure where to start. To address this issue, SAFECOM and National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) consolidated and summarized many available public safety UAS resources into one document: the Public Safety UAS Resource Guide.
This document, not intended to be all-inclusive, highlights multiple resources for public safety communications stakeholders when working with a UAS program. Specifically, the document provides links to publications and other resources containing relevant information about using UAS, developing a UAS program, engaging with the community, responding to unfamiliar or malicious UAS use, and managing UAS with available tools. This resource may also help organizations encountering UAS during emergency response, as may be the case during an event where multiple jurisdictions are involved.
Stakeholders are encouraged to share this document with their respective networks. For questions about the Public Safety UAS Resource Guide, please contact SAFECOMGovernance@cisa.dhs.gov or visit cisa.gov/safecom/technology for additional SAFECOM and NCSWIC technology resources.