Nebraska Governor Highlights State Patrol's Drone Program

By Office of Governor Pete Ricketts | July 08, 2022

LINCOLN –  July 7th, 2022, Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference at the headquarters of the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) to highlight NSP’s innovative drone program.  NSP drone operators performed a live demo at the conclusion of the event.
“The Nebraska State Patrol has continuously innovated through the years, finding new and improved ways to protect the public,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “The agency’s drone program is a great example.  Whether helping to investigate vehicle crashes or fight wildfires, the drones have proven to be major assets.  I commend the State Patrol for its creative use of technology to better serve Nebraskans.”

NSP’s drone program launched a year ago.  In its first year, drone operators have investigated 98 crashes.  Using the drones has reduced the average time of road closure for a crash investigation from 2.5 hours to less than an hour.  Completing the investigations more quickly limits the time motorists must detour around a crash scene.  It also enhances public safety by decreasing the likelihood of a secondary crash. 
In addition to crash investigation, NSP has deployed its drones to assist with wildfire response.  Aerial drones are able to pinpoint the hottest areas of a fire using thermal imaging.  This data helps emergency managers effectively dispatch fire teams to douse the flames.   

“Our drone program and the troopers who serve as pilots have been tremendous assets over the past year,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol.  “This innovation is another example of how troopers and professional staff are constantly looking for new ways to serve the public.  As we grow the program by training more troopers as drone pilots, we’re excited to see the heights it can reach as part of our continued mission to keep Nebraska safe.”

At this morning’s press conference, Colonel Bolduc invited Nebraskans to consider a career with the State Patrol.  Nineteen new recruits started training at NSP’s Basic Recruit Camp 66 on Tuesday, July 5th.  This morning, applications opened for NSP’s 67th Basic Recruit Camp.  Prospective candidates can visit to learn more about the application process, the benefits of working for the NSP, and the job opportunities available.