Camp Shelby hosts second drone workshop for public sector agencies

Camp Shelby hosts second drone workshop for public sector agencies

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Law enforcement officers and representatives from other South Mississippi government agencies met with federal government officials at Camp Shelby Thursday to discuss drone technology.

A second Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Workshop for public sector agencies was hosted by the Open Technology Center.

It focused on Federal Aviation Administration regulations regarding drone operations. It also dealt with laws and practices on how information from the use of drones is collected and handled.

Representatives from the FAA and FBI hosted panel discussions during the event.

A previous workshop on drone technology was held at Camp Shelby in May.

"These workshops focus on rules and regulations, the different types of platforms, the UAV's that are available and what we refer to as the sensor payloads, the cameras, radars," said John Weathersby, executive director of the Open Technology Center.

"The criminal element, if you will, is using these technologies, so it's beneficial for law enforcement agencies and other organizations, public sector organizations, to have the same technology to be able to counter, as well as make their organizations more effective and efficient," said Brad Smith, director of federal programs for the Open Technology Center.

"Certainly, we can see (UAV's) being used for law enforcement in criminal scenarios," said Hal Kittrell, district attorney for the 15th Circuit Court District. "And so with that, certainly, we want to make sure that the product that we're getting, the video that we're getting from that drone, is going to be admissible in court."

Another meeting on drones is set for mid-September.

Organizers eventually hope to establish a new public sector training course for unmanned aerial vehicles at Camp Shelby.