Was Sheriff's Department's Use Of Drones Improper?


The Antique Race Boat Regatta was the assignment of the day Friday for local drone company Horizon Aerial Media Services.

Late last month, the company flew a drone over a swamp for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and found stolen property allegedly taken and dumped by 22 year old Tyler Farmer.

Horizon didn't get paid for that job, but it gets paid for others.

The Federal Aviation Administration guidelines say no one should be flying an unmanned aircraft for profit. The FAA even told them about it.

Horizon's Amanda DesJardins said they received a letter "advising us to cease and desist until the FAA could come out to verify the safety of our operation, but they don't have any intention of coming out to verify the safety of our operation."

Undersheriff Paul Trudeau says he didn't have a part in the decision, but approves of what deputies did with the drone company.

Republican sheriff candidate John Bocciolatt says he would consult with the district attorney before making that move.

"Don't look to the FAA for my law, I look to the Jefferson County district attorney's office for the law," he said.

Democrat candidate Colleen O'Neil says she would have called the FAA. 

"It wasn't an emergency situation," she said. "I think a phone call to the FAA would have been appropriate."

Horizon says it plans to keep on conducting business while lawmakers put through laws on drones.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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