Welcome, Charles Werner, Chief of Public Safety

Charles Werner to Oversee DroneUp’s Public Safety Operations 

Charles L. Werner, a national leader in public safety, has joined DroneUp to serve as the company’s Chief of Public Safety. In this position, Werner is responsible for ensuring unmanned aerial systems (UAS) public safety is upheld in DroneUp initiatives, including pilot training and certifications, strategic partnerships and best practices.

For much of his career, Werner served 37 years in the City of Charlottesville, Va., Fire Department, where he served as Fire Chief from 2005 to 2015. Among his notable accomplishments while in office, the Department achieved a Class 1 ISO Fire Protection Rating, considered the highest rating for a department. In 2015, he retired from the Department and most recently was serving as Senior Advisor and Deputy State Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. In this capacity, he has advised on rail responder applications, UAS, FirstNet, NG911, situational awareness, GIS, and interoperability.

“Charles is a visionary leader in advancing public safety issues before federal, state and local decision makers, at a time when there has been escalating interest and significant rule changes in UAS operations,” said Tom Walker, founder & CEO, DroneUp. “He has been a firm believer in DroneUp’s dedication to advancing UAS pilot training and certifications. He will bring invaluable insight into strategies and best practices as DroneUp moves forward.”

Werner is highly regarded among the public safety UAS industry for his leadership and accomplishments. For this, he has served in board leadership capacities for the National Council on Public Safety UAS, International Public Safety Association UAS Committee, and Virginia Public Safety UAS Council. A certified Part 107 remote pilot in charge, Werner also serves on the Virginia Aviation Dept UAS Working Group, the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team, the AUVSI Trusted Operator Program Steering Committee, the National Alliance of Public Safety GIS Foundation, the National Information Sharing Consortium Advisory Committee, the Association of American Railroads Public Safety Rail Advisory Committee, and the IAFC Technology Council. 

He is a sought-after subject matter expert on FirstNet, communications, interoperability, geographic information systems (GIS), homeland security technology and UAS. With over 100 nationally published articles, he is a contributing editor for Firehouse magazine and contributes regularly to Urgent Communications magazine, sUAS News, Fire Rescue 1 and Domestic Preparedness magazine.