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Strafford County Prepares New Drone Program

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On Friday, police chiefs from across Strafford County will get the chance to check out the county's newly purchased drone.

If departments are interested, they can sign up to partner with the sheriff's department to use the drone in certain instances, such as a search and rescue mission.

Skip Christenbury is the chief technology officer for the Strafford County sheriff's department. They'll offer training for officers interested in piloting the drone.

"There seems to be a lot of people rearing to get a crack at it,” Christenbury said. 

He also acknowledged there are concerns from citizens and some legislators about protecting privacy when it comes to drones. That means the county has a specific process for clearing drone requests from other police departments. (The FAA has a web page on drones, aka unmanned aircraft systems, as does the NHDOT.)

"All flights will be cleared by the county attorney prior to the drone going up to make sure we’re following any county, state or federal ordinances," Christenbury said. 

The program starts on July 1st. 

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.
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