Police drones can be valuable tools for 911 first responders, helping them increase situational awareness, improve response capabilities and improve safety.
Law enforcement is taking advantage of the advancements in drone technology, which will be the first unit to respond after a call is made to 911 to report an emergency.
Most of the drones used by U.S. police are for video surveillance rather than high-tech military drones worth millions of dollars. Generally, police drones are unarmed and regulated.
But at the same time, as the first on-site responder, police drones can quickly inspect the scene and transmit back immediately, providing accurate data for deployment.
Advantages of using drones as first responders
- Quick assessment
- search and rescue
- traffic management
- Enter dangerous environment
- Crowd monitoring
- evidence record
The high-resolution imagery and video provided by police drones through an aerial view provide powerful data on the scene, allowing responders to make informed decisions and prepare accordingly.
At least 1,400 police departments across the country are using drones in some way, giving 911 emergency call centers a head start on the scene and analyzing the situation. But as police drones are planned for routine patrols in cities, there are public concerns about whether we will enter an era of surveillance.
Exactly how much transparency the police will have into the data they collect remains up in the air, with few police departments sharing specific information with the public about how, when or why drones are used, but they have given assurances that drones do not violate privacy or civil rights.
Police drone law enforcement has two sides, but we still believe that drones are active participants in emergency response events.