Renville County Seeking Comment on Drone Usage by Sheriff’s Office

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OLIVIA, Minn. (KEYC) — The Renville County Board of Commissioners is now accepting public comments regarding the potential purchase and/or current and past uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), which is otherwise known as a drone.

During the 2020 regular legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature established Minnesota State Statute 626.19, which requires the Renville County Board of Commissioners to provide an opportunity for public comment prior to the sheriff’s office purchasing or use of a drone.

KEYC reports the Renville County Sheriff’s Office began assembling a UAS program in 2017 and was one of the first law enforcement agencies from greater Minnesota to use the technology.

The RCSO acquired two drones shortly after creating the UAS program. One of the drones would be primarily used for training purposes, while the other would be used for operations, as it was equipped with an infrared, thermal imaging camera, which can be used for locating people or animals via heat signatures.

In-person comments can be made at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, during the Renville County Board of Commissioners meeting in Suite 313 at the Renville County Government Services Center.

Comments can also be made electronically and by mail until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24.

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