Law Enforcement Drone Program Facilitator

Dr. Matthew Johnson has been working with the Pensacola Police Department (PPD) and Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office (SRSO) SWAT to develop a drone program specific to their needs.

The team began with the PPD. They had very specific needs that were not supported by off-the-shelf commercial drones. Matt and the rest of the IHMC team, which includes John Carff and Daniel Duran, designed a built custom drones for the PPD. More importantly, they helped the PPD develop a drone program that addressed training, certification, proficiency, logistics and the full range of things needed to successfully operate drones in a safe and effective manner.  So far, the team has provided:

  • Certification:
    • FAA Part 107 certification assistance for drone pilots
    • Successfully guided agencies through the FAA Public Agency sUAS COA process
  • Training:
    • Developed and provided a week long sUAS training course with mission oriented training scenarios
    • Developed and provided a sUAS night operations training course
  • Hardware and software:
    • Built and delivered custom sUAS that address agency specific needs
    • Developed a support app to provide pre-flight planning support
  • Support:
    • Provide ongoing maintenance support
    • Provide ongoing training

If your organization is in need of similar services, please contact Matt.

Pensacola Police Department Santa Rosa SWAT
First Drone Pilot Cadre First Drone Pilot Cadre

From left to right: Matthew Johnson (IHMC), Daniel Duran (IHMC), Officer Robert Lindblom (PPD), Officer Keith Tourney (PPD), Officer Charles Restifo (PPD), Officer Jeffry Cain (PPD), and John Carff (IHMC)

From left to right: Daniel Harvoth (SRSO), I.D. Brewton (SRSO), Bo Nix (SRSO), Wesley Hartbarger (SRSO), Jake McKinley (SRSO) and John Carff (IHMC), Matthew Johnson (IHMC), Daniel Duran (IHMC)

PPD Drone Training SWAT Drone Training
PPD Custom Drones SWAT Custom Drones

The PPD uses the NightHawk, which is an outdoor drone designed for endurance and payload. It has the ability to deliver life preservers or other suitable payloads as needed. They also use the Wasp which is designed to enter and navigate buildings in complete darkness to deliver a small payload.

Santa Rosa SWAT uses the Wasp 2.0. It has 15 minutes of endurance and can carry up to 1.5 lbs of payload.

Here is a video of the Santa Rosa SWAT describing their drone program and experience with our team:

Here is a video of the Pensacola Police Chief describing their desire to have a drone program:

Here is a video of the initial training class for the PPD and the IHMC drone training course: