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We are public servants using a tool that is ever changing for the use of public safety. This course is not a certification; it was set-up to assist and give Departments the knowledge to begin the process of equipping Drones in the field. Through this course you will learn Definitions such as a Pilot in Command,Spotters, and Temporary flight restrictions. You will learn how to file NOTAMS and how to register your agency’s drone. We will also assist you with the creation of department policy and flight logs. You will learn what a part 107 certificate is and how to obtain it. The 107 preparation will cover: Airspace, flight restrictions, operation requirements, aviation weather, weather effects of UAS, emergency procedures, crew management, radio communication, physiological factors, aeronautical decision making, airport operations, Pre-flight inspections, and many other similar topics. At the end of the course you should take back the knowledge to test for the part 107 certificate. You will be able to advise your department’s administration on the requirements to deploy drones safely and legally.
Instructors: Chris Olson and Jonathon Bigham
Chris Olson is the Director of DeSoto County Emergency Services and Task Force One Leader for the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security USAR Task Force. He possesses at fixed wing and rotorcraft FAA Commercial pilot license which fly’s helicopters for the Desoto County Sheriffs Aviation Unit. He also is an FAA Part 107 licensed UAV pilot where he developed, applied for and received the FAA certificate of authorization wavier for the MS Office of Homeland Security drone program and the DeSoto County drone program.
Chris has spent most of his adult career as a first responder assisting with fire-rescue, search & rescue and law enforcement missions. He spends his down time traveling with his son as he plays competitive and High School Baseball and the rest of his time is spent chasing boys away from his two daughters. Family comes first but serving others, in times of their need, follows closely.
Deputy Johnathon Bigham started his career in law enforcement at the age of 14 as a Search and Rescue Explorer for the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department. While with the SAR Unit, he learned swift water rescue techniques, wilderness survival and basic SAR techniques. He attended many call outs that required use of his training such as, locating missing persons, assisting stranded boaters, drownings, evidence recovery and even an airplane crash. Over the last four years of his career he has been trained by Homeland Security on drone operations. Johnathon currently has a Part 107 pilot license. He has logged over 1,000 flights using different drone platforms such as: Phantom 3, Phantom 4 and an Inspire One. Deputy Bigham has created department policy and set the standard for the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department’s Drone Unit.
After four years with Desoto County Search and Rescue he joined the Horn Lake Police Explorers. While at Horn Lake he observed the life of a patrolman on the streets during ride-alongs. Johnathon left Horn Lake and became an employee of the Desoto County Jail, where he was a jailor. After a year in the jail, he was promoted to patrol and became a certified officer.
Johnathon was a patrolman for three years before joining the traffic unit. Since then he has spent 11 years under an Alcohol Grant from the state. He has been an award recipient for the DUI 100 Club for the last 10 years. In 2018 Johnathon received the Deputy of the Year award from Sheriff Bill Rasco. During his time with the DUI Unit, Deputy Bigham has become an instructor for the Standardized Field Sobriety Test and currently is the only Law Enforcement Instructor for the Child Passenger Safety Technicians.
When Johnathon is not working at the Sheriff’s Department he is spending time with his wife Lauren of 8 years, and his 8 year old son, Reece. Johnathon runs a lawn service that he started in 2010. In the off season he builds furniture, ranging from farmhouse style tables, coffee tables, end tables and shelves. In the last year he has joined a non-profit organization, “The Desoto County Ghostbusters”, that helps to raise money for children diagnosed with cancer.