Will drones be a new basic policing tool?

Many believe drones will be a new basic policing tool

Here’s a few articles worth reading

Wall Street Journal Reports: Taser Explores Concept of Drone Armed With Stun Gun for Police Use

Police officers could soon be adding a new weapon to their arsenal: stun-gun drones. Stun gun maker Taser International has already approached some law enforcement officials about potentially using weaponized drones during encounters with civilians. Although police are just beginning to explore the use of such drones, the implications have prompted questions surrounding public safety and civil liberties.“ Police use of robotic technology to deal with suspects is not without precedent. In July, the Dallas Police Department used a robot outfitted with explosives to kill a gunman who had shot and killed five police officers. It was the first time a robot was used by police to kill a suspect. http://www.wsj.com/articles/taser-explores-concept-of-drone-armed-with-stun-gun-for-police-use-1476994514

Nevada Highway Patrol Wins Approval To Fly Drones

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

Whose using them? According to a 2013 article in Governing.com, drones are being deployed in a small, but growing number of state and local law enforcement operations. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has flown hundreds of domestic drone missions on behalf of other agencies, including several state and local public safety agencies. The article includes a map revealing state and local law enforcement agencies that either applied for the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone authorization program or are known to have borrowed Customs and Border Protection drones for missions.  See http://www.governing.com/gov-data/safety-justice/drones-state-local-law-enforcement-agencies-license-list.html.

Some Police Want Weaponized Drones Taser Manufacturer Says

Taser International, which manufactures electroshock stun guns and body cameras for police, spoke with customers in law enforcement about a future with stun gun-equipped drones. “Our customers are very interested in drones,” says Taser founder Rick Smith.
CREDIT: Getty Images

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.

See full article at https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/flip.it%2FRGGQso-police-want-weaponized-drones-taser-wei/f-733ba808d2%2Finc.com


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