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Our Leadership Team, made up of the Executive Board and Steering Committee, is forged by law enforcement officers with a passion for bringing drones into the public safety sector for good. They have worked together to create a passion within their community for training, learning, and the advancement of UAS technology in policing.

LEDA is expanding rapidly to cover the United States and, in doing so, is expanding their reach by bringing in Steering Committee members from different areas of the country. Having members of the Leadership Team from all over the country plays a pivotal role in bringing training to the right people from within an agency's general area. As LEDA grows, we will continue to nominate and appoint new Steering Committee members to the association.

ABOUT OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

EXECUTIVE BOARD

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Jonathan Beal
President

Jon Beal is a former Sergeant with the Gresham (Oregon) Police Department and supervisor of their UAS Team.  He started his career as a police officer in 2008 with the Los Angeles Police Department.  In 2013, he moved his family to the Portland Metro area and joined the Gresham PD.  He spent his time as patrol officer, Field Training Officer, then Narcotics Detective, where he discovered a passion for drones.  He worked diligently to start a UAS program at GPD since 2017, writing policies, procedures, attending trainings and writing training curriculum.  Since his promotion to Sergeant in 2018, Jon continued his work on the program getting FAA waivers and approvals from GPD's command staff and finally created GPD's first UAS team, comprised of 10 pilots and six aircrafts.  He continues to develop new methods of training and technology to support the team and its function as well as spending time helping other agencies get their programs up and running. 

 

Jon recently made the difficult decision to leave GPD and his 13 year law enforcement career and move to the Nashville, Tennessee, area to be close to Vanderbilt Hospital for medical treatment for his youngest son, who has a rare, life threatening genetic issue, to which the Beal family has lost two other children.  He took a job with GenPac Drones as their Public Safety UAS Specialist and will continue to help public safety UAS programs from the ground up either through his work with LEDA, or with GenPac.  

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Scott Dickerson
Secretary

Sergeant Scott Dickerson has served with the Bend (Oregon) Police Department for 16 years and in law enforcement for 20 years total.  He has been a licensed Part 107 UAS pilot for BPD for the last 6 years and is currently one of supervisors on BPD's UAS Team, charged with creating the team's training regiment and curriculum.  Besides his role on the UAS Team, Scott is a driving instructor for Police Vehicle Operations, a firearms instructor and a force training officer.  He is also a skilled welder, creating steel NIST course setups for distribution in his free time.

 

We're happy to have Scott as the newest board member for LEDA, filling the seat of Tom Pine, who recently retired from the Bend Police Department. 

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Brandon Karr
At-Large Member
Public Information Officer

Brandon Karr is from Pearland, Texas and is the former Chief Pilot, UAS Program Coordinator, and night shift patrolman for the Pearland Police Department.  Brandon started his interest in aviation in 2006 where he earned his Commercial and Certified Flight Instructor licenses for manned fixed wing single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings.  He used his aviation knowledge and experience to start the Pearland Police Department’s UAS program and since has assisted over 250 other agencies start or develop their programs across the nation.  He has developed Pearland PD’s UAS program to be integrated into patrol, K9, SWAT, crash reconstruction, and crime scene functions.  Brandon is a committee member on two subcommittees for the State of Texas regarding the implementation of sUAS for major disasters or incidents.  

Brandon is also President of the Gulf Coast Regional Public Safety UAS Response Task Force.  This regional team is comprised of over 85 agencies with over 250
pilots that are tasked with responding to law enforcement, fire/EMS, or OEM purposes in the event of disasters or major incidents.  The regional team has responded to multiple incidents across the state, provides a variety of UAS training to the region, and assists Public Safety agencies develop UAS programs.

He recently moved to the private sector, taking a job with Dronesense managing their Drones as First Responder program.

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Kyle Williams
Vice President

Kyle Williams is a Sergeant with the Eugene (Oregon) Police Department (EPD) and the supervisor of their Drone Team.  Kyle started his career with EPD in 2004.  Since then, Kyle has held positions as a patrol officer, school resource officer, crisis negotiator, crowd control team member, background investigator, patrol sergeant and professional standards sergeant (policy, accreditation, and internal affairs).  Kyle began the process of creating a UAS team in the fall of 2018, writing policies and procedures for the department.  He was also involved in a city-wide team that created policy and procedure for the use of drones in all city departments.  The EPD team officially started as a pilot program with two drones and three pilots.  After a year long process, we joined forces with Springfield, OR, and combined drone teams to create the Eugene Springfield Metro Drone Team as of October 31, 2022.  The Metro Drone Team is proving to be a successful partnership.

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Todd Young
Treasurer

Todd Young is a former Detective with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Vancouver, Washington.  He started his career with Clark County in January 2000.  In January 2012, Todd was assigned to the Traffic Unit where he became a Collision Reconstructionist.  In 2017, Todd aided in the launch of the UAS program in Clark County and obtained his FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot license.  He utilized various UAS platforms for the sheriff's office and his expertise lies in the processing and documenting of crash and crime scenes while utilizing Pix4D photogrammetry software to process UAS data collected during scene processing. Additionally, Todd deployed UAS platforms to assist patrol with crimes in progress and provided overwatch aerial support for SWAT missions. 

 

In November of 2022, Todd made the decision to retire from law enforcement and relocate to the Phoenix, Arizona area. He continues his career as a Public Safety UAS Specialist with GenPac Drones.  Todd remains dedicated to helping public safety UAS programs through his work with LEDA and GenPac.  

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Doug Seirup
Sergeant At Arms

Doug Seirup is a Detective with the Benton County (Oregon) Sheriff's Office and oversees the law enforcement division's UAS Team.  He started his law enforcement career in 2008 in the state of Utah, before moving to Corvallis, Oregon, and joining the BCSO in 2015.  Doug is a Field Training Deputy, EVOC instructor, and a member of the Major Crash Team.  With a passion for technology and finding ways to incorporate it into law enforcement, Doug helped start the UAS program in Benton County in early 2019.  With seven aircraft and three part 107 certified operators, Doug has helped the Benton County Sheriff's Office implement their UAS program into many facets of law enforcement work, including crash and crime scene reconstruction/mapping, assisting patrol with crimes in progress, and providing overwatch aerial support for SWAT missions. 

 

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends and flying drones recreationally.

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Chad Karlewicz
At-Large Member

Chad Karlewicz is a Commander with the Renton Police Department (Washington) and is currently assigned to the Special Operations Division.  Chad has 31 years of law enforcement experience.  In that time, he has been involved in many aspects of law enforcement including patrol, traffic, narcotics investigations, detectives, recruitment/hiring and training.

During his career, he has served in a variety of leadership positions to include traffic unit supervisor, patrol supervisor, detective supervisor, training unit supervisor, Special Operations Commander, Patrol Commander, and Traffic Commander. He is most proud of his 22 plus years of service to the 42-man regional Valley SWAT Team where he also held several leadership positions including Entry Team Leader, Sniper Team Leader, SWAT Team Unit Commander and Lead SWAT Team Commander.

Chad attended college at Northwest University.  He is a graduate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police - Leadership in Police Organizations and the Emergency Management Institutes Integrated Emergency Management program in Emmetsburg, Maryland.

 

Chad developed the Renton Police Department’s UAS program in 2015 and holds a Part 107 Certification.  That program now has more than 30 UAs and over 25 Pilots with UAs being integrated into every division of the police department.

 

Chad is also the owner/operator of Frontline UAS where he focuses on consulting and training for the development and implementation of Unmanned Aerial Systems programs.  He specializes in complete program development and implementation of UAS programs for public safety organizations, including the attainment of FAA Certificates of Authorization and FAA Part 107 licenses. He also focuses on policy and SOP development and the establishment of comprehensive department training programs.  Additionally, Chad is a frequent speaker at various national UAS events.

STEERING COMMITTEE

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David Barker
Steering Committee Member

David Barker has served with the Idaho Falls Police Department since 1992;  was certified to serve as a Law Enforcement Officer at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport from 2008 to 2019, and currently serves as the Department’s Logistics Officer and UAS Team Lead.   David has been involved with radio control (R/C) model aircraft and a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for over 30-years, has served as President of the Red Baron R/C Modelers, a local R/C aviation club, for the past 13-years, and is an instructor for both organizations.  

 

In 2010, given his involvement and insight in the R/C hobby, David began researching UAS technology and the relating regulations, specifically as to how the emerging technology might be used within public safety and made his first presentation about using “drones” to the department administration heads. In 2017 and upon getting the approval of his command staff David began building the department's UAS team from the ground up.

David is a certified instructor for Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), focusing on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), is an FAA certified Remote Pilot with a sUAS rating, serves on the UAS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for Idaho State University, is a contact instructor for FEMA’s UAS in Disaster Management course, as administered by the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) at the University of Hawaii, is a Technical Expert for DRONERESPONDERS and serves as the Administrator of the Idaho Public Safety UAS Council. 

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Mike Amend
Steering Committee Member

Mike Amend is a Sergeant with the Gresham (Oregon) Police Department and supervisor of the UAS team.  Mike started his career with Gresham in 1997.  Since that time, he has been assigned to the Tri-Met Police Division, Tri-Met Crimes Response Team and as a K9 handler.  Mike was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2005 where he supervised the K9 unit, Police Reserves, Police Cadets, Citizen Volunteers in Policing, Police Fleet, Tri-Met Police East Division, Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Executive Officer to the Chief, and is currently a Detective Sergeant.

 

Mike began supervising the UAS team in 2021.  The program currently consists of 10 pilots, 10 drones, three UAS vehicles and is preparing to expand.  Mike organizes monthly UAS training for Gresham as well as other agencies that attend their training. 

 

In his free time, Mike enjoys all types of fishing, clamming, crabbing, and woodworking. 

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Michael Thompson
Steering Committee Member

Michael Thompson has been an Officer with the Renton Police Department in Washington State since 2008. He began piloting UAS in 2017 and been an active pilot for his department since 2018. Michael has been the department’s UAS program manager/trainer since 2019. He currently manages a fleet of 30+ UAS of different makes and models and 22 department pilots. Michael is currently a member of his departments Uniformed Pro-Act team, Firearms and TECC instructor Cadre’s, Civil Disturbance Bike Unit, and is his union’s treasurer.

 

Michael joined LEDA as an attendee at the invitation of Todd Young in 2019, when the two met up to talk about UAS Technology each other departments was using. Michael joined the LEDA Committee on Training in 2022 then was later invited to the Steering Committee that year.


Michael enjoys learning new ways to employ UAS in surveillance for undercover missions and furthering
its integration into patrol operations for his department. When he isn’t working, he is either mountain
biking, camping, attending volleyball matches or falling asleep on the couch.

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Robert Robertson
Steering Committee Member

Rob Robertson brings 15 years of law enforcement experience and supervises a team of 34 public safety pilots operating under both COA and Part 107 authority.  Rob is currently the lead instructor for his agency’s UAS training; his prior roles include community outreach, interdiction, and undercover operations.  He is also involved applications of counter UAS and DFR operations.

 

Rob holds a Part 107 license, an FCC Radio Technician License, and operates UAS for NFL, MLB, and NCAA events.  Rob worked with the NFL to receive the first endorsement from the NFL for municipal UAS operations during sporting TFR’s.   Rob is also a certified instructor through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and serves as a moderator for a group of 23,000 commercial UAS pilots.  He also serves as a representative of the FAA FAAST team, and volunteers with UAS design programs for high school students. 

 

Rob builds, programs, and flies freestyle and cinewhoop platforms for recreational and commercial purposes including real estate “one-shots”. He is currently working on his Master of Science in Unmanned Aviation and received the Gunderson award in 2022 for advancing interior UAS tactics. 

Rob’s fascination with UAS began in 2016 after building an F-550 hex copter for part 107 operations.  This progressed to building FPV aircraft and finding ways to integrate this concept into public safety operations.  His perspective and experience in the public safety, recreational, and commercial sector provides a comprehensive understanding of unmanned systems. 

Rob’s priorities outside of work include his faith, spending time with his family, and flying FPV.  He also serves as a board member for the FPV Freedom Coalition.

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Steven Jones
Steering Committee Member

Steven Jones has been a police officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department since 2009. During that time he has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, and detective. In 2015, Officer Jones joined the department's Crime Scene Investigations Section. He graduated from the National Forensic Academy in 2017 and is a Certified Crime Scene Investigator through the International Association for Identification. 

 

In 2018, Officer Jones obtained his remote pilot certificate and began using drones for aerial photographs and mapping of crime scenes. Since then, he has helped the department expand its use of drones, including major events, missing persons searches, and SWAT incidents. 

 

Officer Jones has piloted drones in a wide variety of missions, from assessing the aftermath of the Nashville 2020 Christmas Day bombing, to providing overwatch for the Secret Service during a presidential debate, to documenting and reconstructing bullet flight path at Civil War battle sites. 

 

In his free time Steve enjoys landscape photography, both terrestrial and aerial. To date, his favorite drone flight was over a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

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Joel Trask
Steering Committee Member

Originally a native of Los Angeles, California, Joel began his law
enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department in
2010, where he served in a variety of assignments for almost 12
years. In 2016, Joel was assigned to the Gang Enforcement Division, where he was tasked with monitoring the activity of and conducting enforcement on several Hispanic Mexican Mafia street gangs. During this time, he honed his tactical skills while participating in numerous gang investigations, search warrants
and tactical perimeters, operations which highlighted how crucial air support is for daily patrol operations. 

 

In 2019 Joel became a Field Training Officer where he realized he had a passion for training the next generation of officers and the need for LEO training and tactics to constantly adapt, evolve  and embrace new methods and technologies. In 2021, he was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned to LAPD’s Hollywood Station.

In early 2022, Joel and his wife Jenny came to the realization
that Los Angeles, and California in general, were no longer a
good environment to raise their three young sons. So, after
almost 12 years with the LAPD, Joel resigned and moved his
family to Middle Tennessee where he joined the Murfreesboro
Police Department. Shortly after coming to MPD, Joel found the department had purchased drones and started a UAS program. Up until that point, as with many small agencies, MPD has never had the benefit of in-house air support. Joel has dedicated himself to helping develop the MPD's UAS Team and training program. He currently works as both a Field Training Officer and UAS Team Pilot.

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Adam Sale
Steering Committee Member

Adam’s love of all things aviation began at an early age attending airshows at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California. His first flight was at age 10 in a Sikorsky UH-34 spraying the orchard farmed by his father. That flight gave him the bug to pursue aviation.

 

Adam joined the U.S. Army and became a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. He spent 9 years as an Army Aviator before moving to civilian federal service. During his military career Adam completed training to earn his Commercial, Instrument, Helicopter, Single Engine Land, and Multi-Engine Land ratings.

 

Following his military service Adam worked as a Special Agent in the Department of Homeland Security and currently works as a Postal Inspector in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). Adam assisted in the expansion of the USPIS sUAS program and is one the program’s Chief Pilots.

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Nic Fox
Steering Committee Member

Sergeant Nic Fox has been with the Sacramento Police Department for 16 years and is the full time supervisor for the SPD UAS team. Nic has held positions as a field training officers and detective prior to promoting. Nic had the unique opportunity to develop and implement the departments city wide camera and LPR system known as Police Observation Devices (PODS). This led to the development of the first Real Time Crime Center in the region. From his experience in the RTCC he began to explore and promote a UAS program to where it is today.

The UAS Team consists of 35 ancillary pilots and about 90 aircraft. The team averages about 400 missions a year and keeps 2 pilots on call for response to tactical operations across the capitol city of California.

Nic helped develop the UAS program from the start, pushing them into operational status in 2019.  The SPD UAS is also known for their Micro UAS cadre, which is a specialty within the UAS program that employs small FPV drones deployed for tactical situations.  They have made great strides in the application of these micro drones, demonstrating their legitimacy and creating new standards that LEDA has begun to adopt for indoor/tactical deployments.

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John Azevedo
Steering Committee Member

Sergeant Azevedo, a law enforcement officer in the city of Sacramento since 2001, has been designing, constructing, and flying unmanned aerial systems for many years. Attached to the Sacramento Police Department S.W.A.T. operations team as a tactical K9 handler for 15 years, he recognized a unique opportunity to implement micro-drone technology into strategic environments in an effort to bolster officer safety.

 

Sergeant Azevedo co-created the Sacramento Police Department UAS unit in 2019 and continues to train a substantial contingency of drone pilots within the agency. Sergeant Azevedo maintains a constant endeavor to better the Sacramento Police Department UAS program and strives to share his knowledge with other law enforcement entities.

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John Yeast
Steering Committee Member

John Yeast is a highly experienced public safety professional with a career spanning over 30 years of dedicated service. Passionate about incorporating cutting-edge technology in his work, John has been a certified UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) pilot since 2017. He currently serves as the dedicated tactical drone operator for St. Charles County Regional SWAT, where he leverages his extensive expertise to enhance operational efficiency and ensure the safety of all personnel involved.

In addition to his role as a tactical drone operator, John holds the position of UAS Commander within the St. Charles County Police Department. His  leadership and vision have been instrumental in successfully integrating UAS capabilities into the department's operations, resulting in improved situational awareness and rapid response times. The multi-disciplined team he leads provides support to various County divisions, including Patrol, SWAT, Bomb, CSI, EMS, Fire, as well as several other County municipalities upon request.

John's influence extends beyond his department, as he is widely recognized as an authority in the field. He has pioneered the development and delivery of the region's first-ever regional SWAT UAS training program, equipping law enforcement agencies with the necessary skills to effectively utilize UAS technology in critical situations. His commitment to sharing knowledge and empowering others underscores his dedication to advancing public safety. Furthermore, John has also developed and delivered his POST-certified Tactical Interior and Confined Space curriculum, benefiting agencies across the country.

With his background in public safety, trailblazing role in UAS operations, and unwavering commitment to training and collaboration, John Yeast remains at the forefront of using innovative technologies for the betterment of his community and the field of public safety.

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Jeff Pricher
Steering Committee Member

Bio Coming Soon!

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Michael Lighthiser
Steering Committee Member

Deputy Chief Michael Lighthiser commands the Special Operations, Research and Training Division of the George Mason University Police Department. 

 

He has commanded the department’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Unit since its inception in January of 2018 and is the chair of the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS) UAS working group.  As commander of the GMUPD UAS Unit, he has overseen numerous public safety operations, including those with the United State Coast Guard, United State Marshals Service, coordinating UAS operations during the Marine Corps Marathon and established the Mason Police UAS Unit as the regional team for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

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Travis Rozeboom
Steering Committee Member

Travis Rozeboom is an officer with the Papillion (NE) Police Department where some of his roles and involvement within the agency include acting as their lead sUAS instructor, a certified NIST UAS proctor, an arson investigator, a field training officer, a project lifesaver client manager and a radio maintenance technician.

 

Travis has been a full time sworn officer in Nebraska since 2008 and has served many roles including motor officer, criminal detective and Taser instructor. Throughout his career in law enforcement he's assisted multiple agencies set up and/or refine their own sUAS programs by means of both consulting and hosting joint training opportunities.

 

Travis resides in Omaha, NE with his wife and daughter and was introduced to LEDA for the first time in Dallas, TX in April of 2022. Travis loves working on establishing public-private partnerships within the community to assist in supporting the sUAS programs in his metropolitan area.

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Clinton Franklin
Steering Committee Member
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Ross Stinson
Steering Committee Member

Bio Coming Soon!

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