The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Drone is the latest casualty of the Florida State Government’s mandate that all government agencies stop using DJI products – and only use products approved from a short list of manufacturers.
The Sheriff’s Office Drone, a DJI Product, will need to officially cease operations by New Year’s Day, 2023 in order to be in compliance with the new rule.
Because of the rule, the Sheriff’s Office asked for a re-allocation of their budget, which has to be approved by the Okaloosa County Board of Commissioners, for $14,000 in order to purchase a drone that is on the approved list. Many of the drones which are on the list prove to be an order of magnitude more expensive for agencies – and therefore taxpayers.
The money to pay for the replacement drone will come from the Sheriff’s personnel budget, which has additional money, due to the fact that hiring sheriff’s deputies in our area is very difficult right now.
The department said in its brief to the commissioners in their agenda packet that they plan on either selling the drone or giving it away to a non-profit for their use.