Drones / Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

UAS Presentation at 2023 Citizens AcademyThe Oregon City Police Department recently added Drones/Unmanned Aerial Systems, (UAS), to aid in criminal investigations and search and rescue missions.

Per Oregon City Police Department (OCPD) Policy 603.2: A UAS may be utilized to enhance the department's mission of protecting lives and property when other means and resources are not available or are less effective. Any use of a UAS will be in strict accordance with constitutional, privacy rights, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Drone Pilot Training

All OCPD operators have completed the required FAA and department training and will adhere to department policies and applicable state and federal laws regarding the use of the UAS. A presentation on UAS operations is shared with the community during department events such as National Night Out and Citizens Academy. 

Permitted Use

The UAS shall only be operated by the Police Department under the following circumstances:

  • When there is probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime, is committing a crime, or is about to commit a crime, and exigent circumstances exist that make it unreasonable to obtain a warrant authorizing the use.
  • As part of search and rescue activities, as defined in ORS 404.200.
  • When assisting an individual in an emergency if there is a reasonable belief that there is an imminent threat to the life and safety of the individual.
    • A report shall be prepared to document the factual basis for the belief.
    • Within 48 hours of the emergency, a sworn statement shall be filed with the circuit court describing the nature of the emergency and the need for the use of the UAS.

Restricted Use

The UAS shall not be used under the following circumstances:

  • To conduct random surveillance activities
  • To target a person based solely on actual or perceived characteristics such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, economic status, age, cultural group, or disability.
    • To harass, intimidate, or discriminate against any individual or group.

UAS Flight Information

OCPD UAS Pilots create UAS flight reports for each UAS deployment. All flight reports are reviewed, then made available for viewing. See the supporting documents section below to review UAS flight report summaries. View UAS Flight Deployments from 2021 to the present.

Incident Date Flight Time Deployment Summary
1/23/2024 9:30pm-10:00pm UAS deployed as an assist to CCSO in an attempt to locate a driver of a vehicle who had run concluding a pursuit. The vehicle used in the pursuit was also reported as stolen and had also eluded Portland Police just prior. The UAS flew in conjunction with a Milwaukie Police drone. While the UAVs were searching, a K9 team was tracking and was successfully located by the K9 team and taken into custody.
1/18/2024 3:30am-4:00pm UAS deployed as an assist to Washington County Sherriff in search of a subject who had ran from a vehicle that was previously in a pursuit with Beaverton Police. K9 Units had already been deployed by the time OCPD arrived. Subject(s) were not located.