The County of Santa Clara's Shelter-at-Home order remains in effect as some businesses and new activities are allowed to reopen with social distancing protocols and safety requirements in place. For local updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, visit

Unmanned Aircraft System Deployment Summary

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

The Santa Clara Police Department is working with the City of Santa Clara's Purchasing Department to acquire Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, to provide an aerial view of a crime/disaster scene, locate survivors, expedite incident solutions and provide a safe resolution to all of the parties involved. Meanwhile, the Police Department is also working to gain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) compliance to utilize UAS to help improve service to our community.

Potential Uses

The Department's policy authorizes use by a UAS Pilot in accordance with policy, constitutional rights, and FAA regulations for:

  • Disaster response and damage assessment (e.g. earthquake, flood, etc.)
  • Locating missing persons and rescue events
  • Identifying, locating and apprehending non-compliant, threatening or combative persons who pose a threat of injury or death to themselves, others or officers
  • Suspected explosive devices
  • Dangers that would benefit from situational intelligence exposed from an aerial perspective
  • Video / photographic documentation of crime scenes or collision locations
  • Reconnaissance of incident locations that are inaccessible for fire apparatus
  • Response to fires or post-fire investigations
  • HazMat response
  • Training flights as required to meet FAA and department certification standards
  • Conduct inspections of the City’s utility infrastructure (e.g. electric, fiber, water, sewer, etc.) to detect leaks or stressed assets

Prohibited Uses

The Department's policy strictly forbids activities as follows:

  • To target a person(s) based solely on individual characteristics, such as, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation
  • To harass, intimidate or discriminate against any individual or group
  • To conduct personal business of any type
  • To conduct random surveillance activities

Drone Activity Log

The following log will track when, where and why a UAS has been used:

 Date  Time  Location  Purpose


Are you a UAS Flyer?

Whether you are a new drone pilot or have years of experience, the FAA has established rules and safety tips to help you fly safely in national airspace. Learn more about becoming a certified pilot, registering your drone, airspace rules and flight requirements/restrictions on the FAA website.

Recreational users should always be sure to check where you can and cannot fly, via an approved online interactive map.

View Full Site