According to govtech.com, police officers in Georgia are looking at incorporating drone technology into their crime fighting and community protection efforts. The Savannah officers looking to convince the city that officers could make use of drones pointed to car accidents, missing children and active shooters as scenarios where a drone could aid law enforcement efforts.
The plan is scheduled to move forward, andthe city will be purchasing three unmanned aerial systems. The drones offer aerial views that could provide information needed to quickly and efficiently clear accident scenes, they could provide heat signatures of people to help in missing person cases and could be used to enter buildings and identify suspects, bystanders and provide information about explosive devices.
With drone technology, valuable information can be gathered without putting officers in harm’sway. There are at least three police departments in Georgia that have already started using drones. In Gwinnett County, where drones have been used since 2015, one officer says that the devices have been useful in documenting scenes of accidents and have been helpful in SWAT operations. Drones can also perform some of the tasks that helicopters are typically used for, which means departments can save costs by using drones.
The police are subject to Federal Aviation Administration restrictions and officers will undergo training on how the devices can and cannot be used, as well as how to operate them safely.
The department is holding a community meeting to provide information to the public. Some people have expressed concerns over drones potentially being used for spying.