Many believe drones will be a new basic policing tool
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October 21, 2016. The Nevada Highway Patrol will be the first law enforcement agency in Nevada to fly drones having gained approval by the Federal Aviation Administration. The patrol has begun using small drones (unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs) weighing less than 55 pounds after fulfilling federal, state and local requirements, including education and training, to safely, securely and legally fly the aircraft. The UAVs can capture images using a 13-megapixel camera while flying at elevations of between 50 and 400 feet, he said. The agency refers to the aircraft as UAVs because the public tends to think of drones as weapons, such as the missile-equipped Predators the Air Force and CIA use overseas.
Among other things, the Highway Patrol UAVs will use specialized commercial software to map accident scenes through both photos and video, improving safety for first responders, adding new details to investigations and ultimately allowing for faster road re-openings. The drones were purchased through a $10,000 federal grant awarded to the state Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been exploring the use of drones in Las Vegas for about 18 months but has not finalized policy and funding to put them into everyday use.
Drones take police capabilities to new heights
Some Police Want Weaponized Drones Taser Manufacturer Says
Rick Smith, founder of stun gun and body camera manufacturer, says his clients are asking about drones equipped with the company’s conductive electrical weapons.
In July, Dallas police used a robot to deliver a pound of C-4, a plastic explosive, to kill sniper Micah Johnson, who killed five police officers with a long-range rifle in the middle of downtown Dallas. But what if that robot, or a drone, was outfitted with a less-lethal weapon that could’ve been used to incapacitate the gunman and allowed police to arrest him with out risking lives?
Last week, at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego, Taser International, which makes stun guns, body cameras, and digital evidence storage software for law enforcement agencies around the world, met with its customers, police and other law enforcement personnel, to discuss current products and ideas for future products. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Taser’s advanced research team talked about the potential of a stun gun-equipped drone and how police could use an autonomous unmanned aircraft to conduct police work.
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