Drone Team

Here for our community. Here for you.

Watch our 1-minute video introducing the Drone Team.

“We continue to utilize 21st-century technology to enhance the safety of our community members. We are embracing technology in innovative and forward-thinking ways, all with the goal of increasing the safety of and improving the services provided to our community members. We are changing the landscape of public safety not only here in North Carolina, but nationwide.” Sheriff Bobby F. Kimbrough, Jr.

Drones as First Responders (DFR) is the first program of its kind here in North Carolina, and 1 of only 11 programs with the applicable FAA waivers nationwide. DFR is designed to provide our Deputies with another avenue of support for daily operations utilizing unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly known as drones. The ultimate goal of DFR is to reduce response times, increase resident and officer safety, and improve the response of Deputies when they arrive on-scene to an incident. The inaugural DFR program has been launched in the Village of Clemmons and our goal is to strategically introduce it to other areas throughout Forsyth County in the near future.

Utilizing the Live911 software, drones are able to respond directly to the location of a 911 call, generally arriving on-scene before a Deputy in a patrol vehicle. This rapid deployment and unique vantage allows the Deputy piloting the drone to gather vital information from the drone’s perspective and relay it to responding Deputies. This enhanced situational awareness enables Deputies arriving on-scene to make more measured and informed decisions in handling the incident. Additionally the pilot is able to live-stream the view from the drone directly to the other Deputies assigned to that area, our Communications Center, our Real Time Intelligence Center (RTIC), Watch Commanders, and other pertinent individuals.

Our Drone Team, along with a comprehensive policy regarding the use of drones, was created in 2018 with 1 initial pilot and 1 drone. The Drone Team now consists of 11 pilots who utilize 6 drones throughout Forsyth County to respond to a variety of incidents. Each Drone Team member is a Deputy who is also a FAA Part 107 certified pilot. In addition to their regularly assigned duties, these Deputies are on-call to operate a drone as needed.

In addition to DFR, a drone deployment occurs when an aerial visual perspective is needed, primarily while responding to emergency situations or under exigent circumstances. The drones are deployed principally in search and rescue operations, aiding with the location of missing persons, AMBER Alerts, Silver Alerts, and other similar scenarios. The drones are utilized for situational awareness to assist decision-makers in understanding the nature, scale, and scope of an incident. Drones are able to provide a visual perspective for over watch during situations such as hostage situations, barricaded subjects, large-scale operations, and traffic incident management. The drones may also be utilized to document a crime scene, accident scene, or other major incidents.

Drone First Responders Explained

Drone First Responders Preview

Drone Team Highlights

We must engage that which we hope to change. The future needs US now.

Are you ready to serve your community?

Community Involvement

Interested in a job
or inviting FCSO to a job fair?

Phone: 336-917-7008
Email: jobs@fcso.us

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a community event?

Phone: 336-917-7010
Email: communityoutreach@fcso.us


301 North Church Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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