The Northeast Region Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit has received national recognition for its work.
The unit, which is based in Grand Forks, was presented with the International Association of Chiefs of Police Excellence in Police Aviation Award at the IACP Annual Conference earlier this month in San Diego.
Awards are presented to an individual who holds a management or leadership position in police aviation or an aviation program or unit that exemplifies excellence in airborne law enforcement, according to a news release.
The awards emphasize initiatives to enhance the general level and safety of operations, accident prevention programs and the efficiency and effectiveness of airborne law enforcement.
The unit is a collaboration between four North Dakota law enforcement agencies: Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Forks Police Department, University of North Dakota Police Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. Its memebrs utilizes four unmanned aircraft systems to provide air support to public safety agencies within 18 eastern North Dakota Counties.
To date, the unit has responded to more than 70 calls-for- service including seven homicides, two officer-involved shooting scenes, searches for missing persons and suspects, and disaster scenes including a train derailment and subsequent explosion and a LPG gas explosion, the release said.