OGDEN, Utah — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office is expanding its reach and influence in the highly specialized field of drones.
First used by the county’s Search and Rescue division in 2018, their use has spread to other areas including the sheriff’s office and Crime Scene Investigation unit.
Collectively, the sheriff’s office now has the largest team of licensed drone pilots in Utah, which also includes the greatest number of females who operate them statewide.
County Drone Team Coordinator Kyle Nordfors said there are six females who are certified, and one going through training.
“I'm not a techie person, but these are cool,” said Kayla Daloff, a detective with the sheriff’s office.
Dallof said she became a licensed drone pilot just over a year ago because she saw how it could help her team serve the community more effectively with minimal manpower.
Cpl/ Jessica Jolley agreed and told FOX 13 News that a drone’s thermal cameras have better capabilities than the human eyes, and can help law enforcement find suspects faster.
None of the women sugarcoated their journey to become a drone pilot. They emphasized the detail-driven training and testing process, as well as the time commitments.
Their work doesn’t end when they receive their drone pilot certificate either, as the women are required to take part in frequent training to keep their skills sharp and must get certified again every two years.
“Every single one of these women has put in countless hours away from their families, away from their extracurricular, away from their hobbies to be here for a program that they all believe in. And to be a part of that is just, it's amazing,” explained Dallof.
According to the latest Federal Aviation Administration data, there are 264 females who are certified drone pilots in The Beehive State.