Ben began his professional career at Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Among many accomplishments in his 15 years with MCSO, Ben founded and served as program director of the first operational unmanned aerial system (UAS) program for a non-federal public safety agency in the United States. The MCSO UAS program has been featured in prestigious print media—such as National Geographic, Time, and Smithsonian Air & Space—and has been covered by numerous news organizations around the world, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Ben has more than 200 sUAS flight hours and 600 mission deployments. He has flown many types of unmanned operations, including flights over armed gunmen, crime scene reconstruction missions, search and rescue, and fire operations, all within the National Airspace System. Ben also had the opportunity to train game wardens in the African nation of Namibia in support of their anti-poaching efforts.
Ben is now the Director of the Colorado Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting. Ben’s team is the lead UAS organization for the Colorado Department of Public Safety. Focusing on the fire service, Ben’s team is also solving problems for public safety UAS users by creating solutions for real time geospatial intelligence sharing, counter-UAS, management of airspace above wildland fires, and numerous other public safety related challenges.