Drone Documents (Polk County Sheriff)

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Polk County Sheriff of Polk County, FL.
Est. Completion None
Payment Required


From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Florida's Sunshine Law (Fla. Stat. secs. 119.01 to 119.15 (1995)), I hereby request the following records:

All documents created from January 2005 to the date this request is processed related to the agency's use of aerial drones, remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs), unmanned aerials (UAs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and/or unmanned aerial systems (UASs)(hereinafter “drones”).

Please search specifically for the below document categories, and respond to each of the categories and items:

1) Acquisition documents:

i) requests for proposals (RFPs), proposals/quotes submitted by vendors, contracts, leases, budget requests, project/equipment budgets, cost allocations or reimbursements for the purchase of drone equipment;

ii) Grant applications and award letters for drone equipment purchases;

iii) Insurance contracts for all drone equipment;

iv) Communications (including electronic communications) between the agency head or agency quartermaster (or individual responsible for equipment purchases and maintenance) and drone vendors, manufacturers or retailers;

v) Communications (including electronic communications) between the agency head and agency quartermaster (or individual responsible for equipment purchases and maintenance) regarding acquisition, lease or use of drone equipment;

vi) Communications (including electronic communications) between the agency head and the governor, mayor and city/town manager regarding the acquisition of drones;

vii) Applications (including all components and support documentation) for Certificates of Waiver/Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as COA grant notifications and final agreement;

viii) Contracts for services related to drones, such as data storage, data analysis, image storage, image analysis, video storage, video analysis, operation, maintenance;

2) Equipment logs:

i) Inventories/logs/lists/databases of all drones owned, leased or operated by or for the agency;

ii) Maintenance logs for all drones owned, leased or otherwise operated by or for the agency;

3) Policy documents:

i) Policies, guidelines, protocols, manuals and/or instructions on the use/operation of drones and usage of data, images and video obtained from drone flights;

ii) Communications from the agency head, quartermaster (or individual responsible for overseeing equipment purchases and maintenance) on approved uses for drones;

iii) Memorandums of understanding (MOUs), memorandums of agreement (MOAs) or any other agreements or contracts with other government agencies, private corporations, organizations or individuals to share drone equipment, data, images or video or to operate drones on behalf of the agency;

4) Training documents:

i) Curriculum used to train drone operators and observers;

ii) Training log for all drone operators and observers;

iii) Certifications of training completion for all drone operators and observers;

iv) Contracts, purchase orders, budget requests or reimbursement orders for training sessions for all drone operators and observers;

5) Usage documents:

i) Flight logs for all drone flights, including training flights;

ii) Flight logs transmitted to the Federal Aviation Administration pursuant to Certificate of Waiver/Authorization (COA) requirements;

iii) Reprimands relating to drones, including misuse of equipment and failure to properly maintain equipment.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.


Shawn Musgrave

From: Carrie S. Eleazer, BSCJ, CPM Public Information Officer

To Whom It May Concern:

In response to your email to my official email account on yesterday's date, October 15, 2013, (carrie@polksheriff.org) please see the below email we have already sent to you.

Please let me know if you need anything else.

Thank you,
Carrie Eleazer

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Polk County Sheriff's Office PIO <pcsonews@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: Follow up to Freedom of Information Request: Polk County, FL Sheriff Drone Documents
To: requests@muckrock.com

Dear Shawn:

Pursuant to your request, please see the following information:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office currently has a quad rotor UAS (unmanned aircraft system), weighing about 2 lbs. The specifications can be found here: http://ardrone2.parrot.com/ardrone-2/specifications/. The UAS was built in-house based on the commercially available Parrot AR Drone frame and cost approximately $500.

Information about its capabilities are publicly available on the manufacturer’s website. A user manual for the Parrot AR Drone model we use can be found here: http://ardrone2.parrot.com/media/uploads/support_ardrone_1/ar.drone_user-guide_uk.pdf

The intent of this aircraft is to fly it during special operations missions (SWAT team deployments—barricaded subjects, active shooters, etc.), once we have completed the writing of an agency directive dictating its use. The agency directive is still in the process of being written. We are experimenting with the UAS to determine its best use.

At this time, it is only used indoors with other ground robots during exigent circumstances.

We will comply with all existing or future public records laws and state records retention requirements regarding the UAS, including any public records generated from its use.

Our UAS has limited capabilities and is equipped with one color camera. Operators can expect approximately 15 minutes of flight time per battery. On-board electronics are set to stop the rotors from spinning when they contact something. Rotors are shrouded with Styrofoam in order to protect items which may come in contact with the spinning rotors. A loss-of-link would result in the aircraft hovering until link is regained.

I hope this answers all of the questions that you have.

Thank you,

Carrie S. Eleazer, BSCJ, CPM
Public Information Officer
Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Office: 863.298.6217Call: 863.298.6217
Cell: 863.255.8448Call: 863.255.8448
Fax: 863.298.6262Call: 863.298.6262

From: Shawn Musgrave


Thank you for providing the below information. If you refer to my October 15, 2013 records request, you'll see that it expands upon the request to which you sent the below email. Specifically, it would include all receipts for supplies for your UAV unit, as well as any COAs or other certifications for operating it, and a number of other categories of documents not previously requested.

Please confirm that you have provided all documents held by your agency.

Thank you,

From: Eleazer, Carrie

Shawn - I will have to get with the unit that has the UAS, and get back with you on the additional items you requested.

Thank you!

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 15, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Eleazer, Carrie

To Whom It May Concern:

We are working on your lengthy request. It may take a few more weeks to gather everything you have asked. I will keep you posted on the status of this request, and if there are any fees involved.

Thank you for your patience,


From: Eleazer, Carrie

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

After speaking with the several different entities within my agency who will be directly involved in producing the records you have requested, we have determined that your request will require research, will be labor intensive, and will require extensive use of information technology resources, clerical assistance, and/or supervisory assistance. Therefore, pursuant to Florida Statute 119.07 (4)(d) we will require you to provide a deposit for the estimated cost associated with our agency staff to produce documents in answer to your request before any further work is done.

We estimate that to research, assemble, and review these documents for confidential material and/or applicable public records exemptions will involve:

Four hours of clerical assistant time at $18.27/hour = $73.08
One hour of supervisor time at $35.47/hour = $35.47
One hour of budget analyst time at $26.49/hour = $26.49
One hour of Public Information Officer time at $31.75/hour = $31.75

Naturally if it takes less than seven hours among these four agency employees to provide the documents you have requested, we will promptly return the unused portion of your deposit. If it appears that it will take substantially more time than estimated, we may request an additional deposit.

You may pay be check or money order. Please make checks payable to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, and send payment to 1891 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL, 33880. Please send the payment to my attention. We will begin preparing the documents as soon as we receive your deposit.


Carrie Eleazer
Public Information Officer
Polk County Sheriff's Office


From: Shawn Musgrave


Thank you for your response. Could you clarify whether the cost estimate below is the estimate for the entire cost or whether this deposit would just comprise a portion?

Is there a particular component of the request that is contributing most to the high cost?


From: Eleazer, Carrie

Dear Shawn:

The four hours it will take a clerical assistant to take the time away from her normal duties to look through every file within her office, locate receipts, manuals, requests for proposal, etc - all of the documentation that you have asked for - comprises the bulk of the cost associated with your request.

The word deposit when used in the context means "amount." Once we receive the entire amount from you of our estimate that we provided, we will begin pulling documents, redacting them, copying them, and sending them to you. I do not anticipate any additional costs, unless of course we spend more time than what we estimated.

Thank you,



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