Innovative Use of Technology in Local Government
Barry Condrey, CIO
Chesterfield has experimented with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones, for two years. A workgroup was formed to create a UAS policy & program that would allow the county to use these devices safely, to achieve its strategic goals. The county policy was approved in February, enabling all county and school departments to utilize this technology.
Fourteen departments participated in the workgroup including Police, Fire, Sheriff, Risk Management, Communications & Media, Parks & Recreation and Schools. The policy provides guidance and direction for use and regulation of unmanned aircraft systems in Chesterfield County and allows all business units to use the technology. By creating guidance and a regulated environment, the county ensures that the technology will be used in a safe, effective and scalable manner.
Use cases include public safety, disaster response, marketing materials creation, geo-spatial analysis, infrastructure inspection and others.
Policies from over a dozen localities were considered along with federal guidance and other materials to create the Chesterfield policy. County departments may draft their own policies if necessary to further clarify their specific approach, while operating within the parameters set forth in the county policy.
UAS have been productively used by several departments, use cases have been reviewed and enterprise software is being evaluated for the management of flight operations.