Dodge County Sheriff Details How To Safely Operate Drones

(Dodge County) With the uptick in privately owned unmanned aircraft systems, known as UAS’s or drones, rules around their operation can be confusing. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says that even his office treads lightly when utilizing their two drones. He says they will obtain proper warrants or ask permission before flying their drone in any situation where there is not a clear doctrine to do so, and before taking any pictures.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration drones can fly within uncontrolled public airspace, defined as between roughly 83 feet and under 400 feet. Drones are not allowed to operate within controlled airspace, over national parks, stadiums, raceways during sporting events, federal prisons, and military bases.  The state of Wisconsin adds drones cannot be used to interfere with hunting, fishing, or trapping.

As for dealing with unwanted drones on your property, Schmidt advises simply calling your local authorities. He says while it may seem like a good idea to try and shoot it down, you do not know for sure if the drone is operating in public airspace, and (quote) “what goes up must come down, you are always responsible for your round.” While your bullet may take down the drone, Schmidt warns, it could also pass right through and into something unintended beyond.