The Michigan State Police has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a drone to support public safety efforts.

According to a news release the MSP is one of the first police agencies in the nation to obtain statewide authorization fro drone use. The MSP had purchased the Unmanned Aircraft System back in 2013 with an eye to the future potential to support law enforcement missions. Since that time the MSP has worked with the FAA to meet all safety and training requirements, as well as to develop policies and procedures for the safe and effective implementations of it. In February 2014, the MSP received a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA to conduct training flights. In February, after meeting all requirements, the FAA granted the MSP's request to fly the drone for law enforcement support missions across the state and was put to use for the first time on March 4th when it was flown over a fire investigation near Jenison. The device collected both video and pictures to help investigators determine the origin and cause of the fire.