Most commons uses for drones in law enforcement
A couple weeks back we ran a blog about the top use cases for drones in the fire service, and lest law enforcement thinks we're leaving them out, here are the top use cases we've found for police drones.
Search and Rescue
Just like in the fire service, the most common use for drones in law enforcement is search and rescue. With longer flight times, payload carrying and drop capacity, and FLIR thermal camera, newer drones like the Matrice 200/210 and the good ole' Inspire 1 are tremendous for helping law enforcement find lost individuals faster and more efficiently than ever before.
The Decorah Fire Department recently showed exactly how valuable a drone can be in the hands of well-trained search and rescue operator.
Suspect Pursuit/Hostage Situation
Another increasingly common use case for police drones are during suspect pursuits and hostage situations. Using hi-tech tools like FLIR thermal cameras, or ActiveTrack, law enforcement can get eyes on a suspect quickly, and track their progress without officers having to follow on foot. This was perfectly highlighted by another client of Skyfire, Fremont Fire, when they assisted Fremont Police in finding a burglary suspect.
Hostage situations can also present opportunities for drones to assist. Negotiators can drop first aid, walkie-talkies, cell phones, or even water to the suspect or victim without putting officers in harm's way, as well keep an eye on the suspect.
Drones can give law enforcement a bird's eye view of scene, and with photogrammetry software like Pix4d, officers can scan an entire accident or crime scene and stitch the images together later into a hi-resolution image that can be extremely useful in investigations.
These are just three of the most common use cases for police drones that have come up in the last year or so. With fewer than 1000 public safety drone programs in the United States there are surely going to be hundreds of additional use cases that emerge as more departments use this life-saving technology.