A group of 20 law enforcement officers, including two K9 officers, pose for a photo in front of the Williston Police Department's white Mobile Command Center trailer.

NDIRF Sponsors Law Enforcement Drone Training Course

Bismarck, N.D. – The North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund (NDIRF) sponsored a recent three-day drone training course from May 7-9 in Williston (N.D.) to help North Dakota law enforcement unmanned aerial systems (UAS) teams learn how to maximize drone usage and best relay information to ground officers. The course was led by Jack Schonely, a retired 36-year law enforcement officer who is “nationally recognized expert in the area of suspect tactics and perimeter containment” (accessed from www.OfficerTactics.com on May 20, 2024).

Schonely’s training helps UAS teams improve their communication, search techniques and tactics, K9 handler and officer coordination, and drone positioning. A UAS team includes a drone pilot, a spotter, and ground officers these teams The training’s goal is to help UAS teams effectively track, locate, and safely pursue a suspect by establishing a perimeter and providing clear direction to ground officers.

A total of 20 North Dakota law enforcement officers attended the training and represented the Bismarck Police Department, Minot Police Department, Williston Police Department, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Williams County Sheriff’s Office, and North Dakota Highway Patrol.

“On behalf of the North Dakota Law Enforcement Canine Association, I would like to thank the NDIRF for its support of this training,” NDLECA President Lyle D. Sinclair said. “When law enforcement gets new tools, there is a learning curve, and this training has helped us understand how to maximize drones to help keep the public safe.”

Photo: 20 North Dakota law enforcement officers attend a three-day UAS team training from May 7-9, 2024, in Williston, N.D. Photo credit: NDLECA