UAS "Drone" Unit

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit

The Blaine Police Department anticipates implementing an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS or drone) program. Public safety agencies across the country are beginning to see the benefits of the remote viewing capabilities of commercially available systems. In June 2023, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) released their Legislative Report covering UAS data from 2022. This report documented a total of 98 agencies throughout the State with active UAS programs. This includes 56 sheriff’s offices, 39 police departments, and three others including State Patrol, BCA, and Cannon River Task Force.

Proper Implementation

This year members of the Blaine Police Department began researching the proper implementation of an UAS program. This included an in-depth review of MN State Statute 626.19 Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The State Statute addresses:

  • Authorized uses
  • Limitations on use
  • Documentation requirements
  • Data classification and retention
  • Public comment
  • Required written policies and procedures
  • Notice of disclosure of a UAS with a warrant
  • Mandatory reporting requirements to the BCA

Public Comment and Transparency

One of the requirements for implementation of a UAS program by the Minnesota Legislation is public comment. Law enforcement agencies must provide an opportunity for public comment before purchase or use of a UAS. At a minimum, the agency must accept public comments submitted electronically or by mail. The governing body with jurisdiction over the budget of a local law enforcement agency must provide an opportunity for public comment at a regularly scheduled meeting.

The Blaine Police Department seeks to provide a transparent and inclusive input process, engaging the community through multiple communication paths.

The following links are posted to offer additional information about the program:

Public Comment Options

The following options to provide feedback are as follows:

The Department will share this information through regular media channels and seeks in-person input during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Monday, October 16 at 7PM.