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small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Team Deployments (Third Quarter 2019)

small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Team Deployments (Third Quarter 2019)

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Team Deployments (Third Quarter 2019)

Third Quarter 2019 statistics for sUAS Team deployments by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office

8/1/2019 – Mission Type: Assisted MCSO Patrol Search for Missing Person At-Risk

Case: 19-2270

Offense: None 

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division was investigating a report of a missing person at-risk. The investigation led to the discovery of the missing person’s vehicle and personal items near the water’s edge in San Rafael. A UAV was deployed to conduct a hasty search for the missing person near the water’s edge and in the surrounding water that was not accessible by foot. In addition to the UAV, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office utilized our Search and Rescue Team, as well as helicopters from the California Highway Patrol and USCG. The search efforts were unable to locate the missing person at that time or during subsequent searches. Unfortunately, the missing person was located deceased in an area away from the search area on a different date.


8/30/19 – Mission Type: Assisted MCSO Patrol with Search for Subject who Resisted Deputies

Case: 19-2571

Offense: 148(a) (1) PC – Resisting or Delaying Investigation

                 1203.2 PC – Violation of Probation

MCSO Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a reported unwanted subject at a residence. Upon arrival, Deputies contacted the man who subsequently resisted and fought with Deputies. Deputies lost sight of the subject after a short foot chase in the surrounding neighborhood. A perimeter was established as more resources were requested to assist in searching for the wanted subject. The sUAS Team was requested to search heavily wooded and rural areas within the perimeter in an attempt to locate the subject. While searching the area, the subject was reported to be running through yards of residences in the neighborhood. After a thorough search, the subject was not located by the UAV or the perimeter personnel. The case was sent to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office requesting charges be filed for prosecution.


9/6/19 –Mission Type: Assisted California State Parks and Marin County Search and Rescue with Search for Missing Hiker

Case: 19-2653

Offense: None

California State Parks requested assistance from the sUAS Team to locate a hiker who got lost and had spent the night near Mt. Tamalpais. The sUAS Team deployed a UAV in the general vicinity of where the missing hiker was last reported based on his cell phone location. The hiker was located by a hasty search ground crew prior to being located by the UAV. The sUAS Team stayed onscene and helped direct other first responders to the location of the subject, who was ultimately air lifted from his location by a helicopter.


9/12/2019 – Mission Type: Barricaded Subject with a Firearm

 Case: 19-2709

Offense: 422 PC – Criminal Threats

                 417(a) (2) PC – Brandishing a Firearm

                 30305(a) (1) PC – Felon in Possession of Ammunition

                 29800(a) (1) PC – Felon in Possession of Firearm

                 594 PC - Vandalism

The MCSO Patrol Division was dispatched to a reported disturbance at a populated apartment complex where a subject was allegedly threatening neighbors with a firearm. The subject was reported to have barricaded himself in an apartment before Sheriff’s personnel arrived. The sUAS Team was requested to assist to provide an aerial vantage point of the back patio area of the subject’s apartment. By deploying the UAV near the back patio area of the apartment, we were able to watch and see if the subject left the apartment without placing personnel directly in danger based on the original report that the subject was armed with a firearm. Based on further investigation, it was determined the subject was inside the apartment, but had fled the area. The subject was located and arrested the following day.


9/15/19 –Mission Type: Assisted Mill Valley Police Department with an Armed Subject in a Vehicle.

 Case: 19-2740 (Mill Valley PD Case 19-725)

Offense: 30305(a) (1) PC – Felon in Possession of Ammunition

                 29800(a) (1) PC – Felon in Possession of Firearm

                 11350 H&S – Possession of Narcotics

                 11377 H&S – Possession of Controlled Substance

The Mill Valley Police Department requested assistance when they discovered a vehicle involved in a collision. Upon initial investigation, MVPD observed the driver unresponsive and a firearm on the front passenger seat. A perimeter was established and MVPD began giving the driver commands to surrender peacefully. The driver was not responding to officers’ commands. The sUAS Team responded to provide a vantage point to observe the driver’s actions without placing officers in any unnecessary danger. The sUAS Team positioned a UAV on the hood of the vehicle while officers from the Mill Valley Police Department attempted to negotiate the subject’s surrender. By landing the UAV on the hood of the vehicle, we were able to watch the subject’s movements and relay them to the officers’ attempting to negotiate a peaceful surrender. We were able to provide real time information on the subject’s movements and the location of the firearm without placing personnel near the vehicle. The subject ultimately surrendered peacefully and was arrested by MVPD.