Vern Sallee, Air Lead Strategist, Axon
Vern Sallee served with the Chula Vista Police Department for 25 years, rising through the ranks before retiring as the Patrol Operation Captain in October 2020. During his tenure, he led several high profile technology projects, including researching and leading the department’s body worn camera program from 2012-2014, leading a major Computer Aided Dispatch and Mobile Data Computer upgrade from 2015-2017 and the establishment and expansion of the department’s drone program from 2015-2020. CVPD’s award-winning drone program is best known for its groundbreaking “Drone as a First Responder” or DFR program, which has over 7,600 flights in support of first responders. He has served as an expert for numerous UAS panels and presentations, including with the FAA and USDOJ, as well as within the UAS industry and public safety sectors. He now works for Axon as the lead strategist for Axon Air, the company’s UAS division. His new role as a strategist and consultant places him in a unique position at the forefront of the evolving public safety UAS space with practical leadership, operational and policy expertise in both the public and private sectors. He continues to work with the non-profit organizations DRONERESPONDERS and AIRT in support of their efforts to expand and professionalize public safety UAS operations and advocate for changes in FAA regulations surrounding the integration of public safety drones into the National Airspace System.