Drones are becoming a valuable resource for law enforcement as they can be used as surveillance, to deploy military weapons and equipment, and search in hazardous areas.
Drones have been used for law enforcement for decades, and their use has increased dramatically over the past few years. Drones are now used for surveillance, search and rescue operations, crime scene documentation and evidence gathering. The common belief is that all drones are used by police to spy on citizens.
This is not true at all. There are many benefits of using drones in law enforcement that can improve public safety and save lives without invading privacy or putting officers in danger.
Benefits of Using Drones In Law Enforcement
Drones are becoming more and more popular in law enforcement. They can be used to help solve crimes, provide evidence and even save lives. The benefits of using drones in law enforcement are numerous:
- They’re cheap: The cost of drone technology has dropped significantly over the past few years, which means that police departments can afford to purchase these devices without breaking the budget. Drones can also be purchased with grant funding or donations from private citizens and businesses.
- They’re versatile: Drones can be used in a variety of situations, including search-and-rescue operations, natural disaster response and crime scenes. They allow law enforcement officers to safely gather information from dangerous situations without putting themselves in harm’s way.
- They have long battery life and flight times (up to 25 minutes). A drone’s battery life depends on its size and weight, but most can fly for at least 15 minutes before needing recharging or refueling.
- They don’t require specialized training or equipment (except for a remote control). Officers don’t need any special training to use a drone; they simply need to learn how to launch and operate the device using an app on their phone or tablet
- Solving Crimes: Drones can be used by the police to search for clues at crime scenes. This is especially helpful when there isn’t much evidence left behind after a crime has been committed. The drone’s camera will allow police officers to look for any signs of how a crime was committed and who might have been involved in it.
- Tracking Fugitives: One of the most common uses for drones is tracking down fugitives who have run away from jail or prison. Drones can easily fly over areas where fugitives often hide out and search for them with their cameras. This allows officers to quickly identify whether or not someone is hiding out in an area before sending out a larger search party or calling off the hunt altogether if the suspect isn’t located within a short period of time (which saves money).
- Drones can help police keep tabs on criminals: Police officers need to be able to track suspects and investigate crimes. Drones make it easier for them to do this, as they can fly over an area and take photos or videos that can help identify suspects or provide evidence of crimes. Drones are especially useful when monitoring crowds because they allow police to see what’s going on above the crowd and spot potential threats more easily than with other tools like helicopters or binoculars.
- Drones can help police safely monitor protests: Protests can get out of hand very quickly, especially if there are unruly elements within the crowd that may cause trouble. Police often have difficulty controlling these situations without causing injury to themselves or others involved with the protest. The use of drones can provide an extra layer of safety by allowing police officers to monitor protesters from above without putting themselves directly in harm’s way.
Best Drones For Law Enforcement
While not an exhaustive list, these are some of the drones that are most frequently used for public safety and law enforcement missions. The RGB and thermal imaging cameras that are common on these drones are dual sensor payloads. These drones are unquestionably the ideal kind for use in law enforcement operations because they have improved features that will improve data collection while out in the field.
Others, like the DJI Matrice drones, can fly with a variety of payloads, including LiDAR and night vision equipment. Additionally, the Matrice drones have an IP certification that enables them to be used in any weather.
The DJI Matrice 30T is a portable foldable drone that has a multi-sensor payload that includes a high-resolution RGB camera, an infrared camera, a night vision sensor, and a laser range finder. It is one of the newest drones for public safety applications. Additionally, the drone has a long flight time of 41 minutes, a transmission range of 15 kilometers, and an IP55 classification for all-weather operation.
The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced version is a drone that is particularly popular with law enforcement. This small drone has a folding frame, two cameras, and other features. While the thermal imaging camera has a 640×512 resolution, a 30Hz frame rate, and a temperature precision of 2°C, it has a 1/2-inch RGB sensor that can record 4k films and 48MP photos. The drone has a 10km transmission range, a 30 minute flight time, an RTK module for centimeter-level accuracy, and omnidirectional obstacle avoidance.
In this instance, there are many wonderful prosumer drones that may be sufficient for their needs. Many law enforcement agencies might not need a multi-sensor payload. One of the most well-known drones is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which has a big 1-inch sensor and can record HD video and 20MP photos. It has a transmission range of 7 km, a flying time of about 30 minutes, and intelligent features like automatic return to home and autonomous flight modes.
What are the prices of these drones? The Parrot Anafi Thermal costs $4000, while the Matrice 300RTK with the Zenmuse H20T multi-sensor payload costs roughly $24,000. Drones with dual or multiple sensor payloads fall within this price range.
The cost of prosumer drones like the Mavic 2 Zoom and Phantom 4 Pro is between $1500 and $3000.
- DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
- DJI Matrice 300 RTK
- DJI Matrice 30T
- DJI Phantom 4 Pro
- DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
There are many benefits to using drones in law enforcement. It allows officers to have their hands free while they are investigating. It is also a safer alternative because there is no officer inside the drone, so if it crashes it will not hurt anyone. This can be of great benefit when searching for suspects in a building that could possibly be unsafe.
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