Roseville Police Small Unmanned Aircraft System Unit

Updated October 08, 2018
Unmanned Aircraft System
Roseville Police Department - Policy 437 - UAS Operation

The following procedures are intended to promote the safe, efficient, and lawful operation by the Roseville Police small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Unit. Safety, above all else, is the primary concern in each and every operation, regardless of the nature of the mission. Providing an aerial perspective to support our personnel will increase safety for the citizens of Roseville and public safety personnel all while increasing efficiency during special operations.

437.2 POLICY
It shall be the mission of the Roseville Police Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Unit to utilize this technology to protect the lives and property of the citizens of Roseville and enhance safety for first responders. Use of a UAS will be in strict accordance with State and Federal laws and in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. The use of a UAS can support first responders in situations which would benefit from an aerial perspective and enable responders to detect dangers that could otherwise not be seen. The UAS can also be utilized for approved training missions.

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 provides for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace by September 1, 2015. Existing federal law requires the administrator of the FAA to develop and implement operational and certification requirements for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system by December 31, 2015.

A. Small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS): Consist of the small unmanned aircraft weighing under 4.4 pounds, the command system, a secure control link, and other related safety support equipment.

B. Unmanned aircraft (UA): An aircraft that is intended to navigate in the air without an onboard pilot.

C. UA Flight Crewmember: A pilot, visual observer or other persons assigned duties for a UAS for the purpose of flight.

D. Unmanned Aircraft Pilot: A person exercising control over unmanned aircraft during flight. The pilot will be ultimately responsible for the operation and solely responsible for the input of commands/piloting during flight. The pilot will be certified in the operation of the UAS by successful completion of an approved training course. The pilot must meet standards required by the FAA (These standards include; must pass the required knowledge tests and must keep his or her aeronautical knowledge up to date). Pilots are authorized to evaluate and except or decline any mission or portion thereof due to safety concerns.

E. Certificate of Authorization (COA): Given by the FAA which grants permission to fly within specific boundaries and parameters. Training flights cannot take place without a valid Training and Evaluation (T&E) COA and missions cannot take place without a valid operational/emergency COA.

F. Observer: The observer is responsible for the visual observation of the UAS while in flight. The observer will maintain a visual observation of the UAS while in flight and alert the pilot of any conditions (obstructions, terrain, structures, air traffic, weather, etc) which affect the safety of flight. The observer will be responsible for all aviation related communications required by the FAA. To accomplish this, the observer will be in close proximity to the pilot to ensure instant relaying of information. The observer will be certified in the operation of the UAS by successful completion of an approved training course. The observer shall meet standards required by the FAA to possess a valid second class medical certificate, pass the required knowledge tests and keep their aeronautical knowledge up to date.

437.5 ORDER
Generally, the UAS Unit shall be activated when the situation requires a police response beyond the normal capabilities of patrol or investigations personnel. Additionally, the unit may be activated if the situation falls within the guidelines of authorized missions which is outlined below. Request for the deployment of the UAS unit will be made through the Roseville Police Department on-duty watch commander. In the event of a call-out request by a Roseville PD watch commander the request should be directed to the UAS Unit Lieutenant to approve the deployment of the UAS unit. In the absence of the UAS Unit Lieutenant, or when extenuating circumstances and or exigent circumstances exist, a RPD watch commander at or above the rank of Lieutenant can approve the deployment of the UAS Unit.

The on-duty watch commander shall contact the UAS Unit Lieutenant with all available information regarding the request for deployment. The Police Lieutenant will gather the information pertaining to the request and determine if the deployment falls within policy. Once approval is confirmed, the UAS Coordinator (Consisting of UAS Patrol Sergeant) will contact the UAS Unit members and deploy them for assignment. The UAS Unit members will determine if the UAS can be deployed safely and practically. If the request comes from an outside Public Safety agency the request will be directed to dispatch at (916) 774-5000.

1. When the UAS is being flown, operators will take steps to ensure the camera is focused on the areas necessary to the mission and to minimize the inadvertent collection of data about uninvolved persons or places.

2. The Roseville Police Department will maintain a website for public input to address citizens’ concerns and recommendations.

3. The use of the UAS will be limited to the authorized missions describe herein.

4. The UAS will not be equipped with any weapons. 5. The authorized missions for the Roseville Police Dept. UAS unit are:

   A. Post incident crime scene preservation and documentation.

   B. Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) missions.

   C. Response to hazardous material spills.

   D. Search and rescue missions as defined in California Government code section 26614.

   E. Public safety and life preservation missions to include barricaded suspect's, hostage situations, active shooters, apprehension of armed and dangerous and/or violent fleeing suspect, and high-risk search warrants.

   F. Disaster response and recovery to include natural or human caused disasters including a full overview of a disaster area for post-incident analysis and documentation.

   G. Training missions as authorized by the training certificate of authorization (COA).

  H. In response to specific request from local, state or federal fire authorities for fire response and prevention.

   I. When there is probable cause to believe that:

    a. the UAS will be recording images of a place, thing, condition, or event; and
    b. that those images would be relevant in proving that a certain felony had occurred or is occurring, or that a particular person committed or is committing a certain felony and use of the UAS does not infringe upon the reasonable expectation of privacy.

   J. Pursuant to a search warrant.

6. Missions prohibited from use are:

   A. The UAS video surveillance equipment shall not be used:

     a. To conduct random surveillance activities.

     b. To target a person based solely on individual characteristics, such as, but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

     c. To harass, intimidate or discriminate against any individual or group.

     d. To conduct personal business of any type.

     e. The UAS shall not be weaponized.

7. All procedures, laws and regulations on UAS usage, shall be reviewed as follows: The Operations Captain and UAS Unit Lieutenant and others as designated by the Chief of Police shall meet annually on the use of the UAS to include an audit review, flight documentation review and provide a quarterly and annual report to the Chief of Police.


1. UAS operation requires a certificate of authorization from the FAA

2. A UAS will only be operated by personnel, both pilots and crew members, who have been trained and certified in the operation of the system. All agency personnel with UAS responsibilities, including command officers, will be provided training in the policies and procedures governing UAS use.

3. All flights will be approved in advance by the UAS Unit Police Lieutenant or the Operations Captain.

4. UAS and all related equipment will be available and issued at the Roseville Police Department headquarters.

5. All flights will be documented on the mission dispatch form designed for that purpose and all flight time shall be accounted for on the form. The reason for the flight and type of mission as specified above and name of the supervisor approving the operation will also be documented.

6. The administration, safety policy, training requirements, general operating procedures and pre/ post flight actions are continued within the Roseville Police UAS unit operations manual.

Upon completion of each UAS mission the recorded data shall be reviewed and evaluated for evidentiary value. Data of identifiable individuals captured during a UAS mission shall not be retained unless there is reasonable suspicion that evidence of criminal activity is present. All retained data shall be maintained or destroyed pursuant to Roseville PD records retention and evidence policies and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

UAS commanders, operators and observers will consider the protection of individual civil rights and the reasonable expectation of privacy as a key component of any decision made to deploy the UAS. Each UAS operator and observer will ensure that operations of the UAS are consistent with local, state, and federal law.