Can Law Enforcement Drones Save Lives?

If small-unarmed drone aircraft can be deployed by law enforcement in dangerous armed barricade situations, why is the US Department of Justice not providing this technology to US law enforcement, if it has the possibility to protect our law enforcement officers?

The US military Special Force units are testing small drone aircraft to provide operational awareness to troops in combat zones.

Why is this technology not available and being field tested domestically if it has the potential to save lives, and give law enforcement officers immediate intelligence for better decision-making without placing our officers in harm’s way in dangerous situations?

U.S. Special Forces Are Testing This Tiny Spy Drone

Several jurisdictions have experimented with drone aircraft to provide better services and protection to the community.

Law Enforcement Agencies Using Drones List, Map

Some of the possibilities of drone use:

  • Search and rescue missions, covering more ground and able to view rough terrain not easily searchable or timely by other means
  • Forest fire fighters to check on hot spots and giving instant information to command staff on the ground of changing conditions
  • Crowd control during large events, giving commanders on the ground instant information
  • Provide beach safety for lifeguards checking on swimmers
  • Correctional facilities to keep surveillance on prison yards during exercise periods making it safer for CO’s and inmates

Issues with Domestic Drone Use

Privacy concerns and ethical considerations need to be discussed and policies with best practices can be established so that the drone technology is not abused and is transparent to the public.

Few Privacy Limitations Exist on How Police Use Drones

Drone technology has an opportunity to provide a level of security to citizens and provide our first responders and criminal justice agencies with a tool that provides instant situational intelligence information to on scene commanders to make decisions based on current information provided by the drone’s ability to display what is happening in real time.

Can drones be used effectively by law enforcement agencies?

About the Author

Mark Bond

Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 29 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning.  Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.