How do law enforcement agencies use UAVs?

There are several obvious use cases for the technology in law enforcement, including evidence detection in ways that would not be possible from the ground, suspect/fugitive tracking, particularly with the use of a thermal camera on the UAV, and scene assessment during armed standoffs or hostage situations.

Some use cases that may not be so obvious – crime scene preservation and recreation using 3D mapping and imaging technology, accident scene assessment, traffic management, and crowd surveillance.

What about other types of Public Safety use cases? 

  • Emergency Management - Emergency Management being somewhat of a hybrid rescue/law enforcement agency can utilize UAVs for all of the things we mentioned above, but may also consider using them for storm recovery/damage assessments, evaluating road conditions, and coordinating troop/resource movements during a natural disaster response.
  • It’s worth noting that other city/county/state departments may utilize resources from their fire/rescue, law enforcement or emergency management counterparts.
  • These uses might include infrastructure analysis, GIS mapping, utility inspection, flood planning, traffic management studies and many more.
  • Even in-house public relations or marketing departments within public agencies have use for UAVs – pictures and video for social media, websites and press releases can be a very powerful use of this technology to promote the good work of the agency.