Drones are used for law enforcement: they are used to monitor emergencies, check for critical scenes which can aid emergency operations, and to help find people in search and rescue missions. A recent study conducted by the BARD Drone Centre found that at least 1578 state and local public safety agencies in the US alone have acquired drones. Almost 70% of public safety agencies who work in law enforcement use drones.
Let’s now look at a few ways how drones help in law enforcement:
A Drone can be used to take an aerial view, i.e., an accurate photo representation of an area, collect and collate it into a city/town’s perfect map. When any disaster strikes and the calamity is severe, police personnel can use real-time data to estimate the situation’s severity. It can then be used to help the people in need.
Drones can be used to chase criminals or suspects. When a criminal takes to the roof and runs on rooftops, it becomes difficult for the personnel on the ground to know the whereabouts, but with drones, it is easier to chase miscreants. Often, these criminals are armed, and they can shoot anyone who approaches them. But with drones in the picture, police can get their exact location and plan a strategy to arrest them without putting public safety personnel at risk.
Drones can recreate scenarios of certain accidents, thanks to the ability to capture previously impossible angles. The crime scene can be recreated with visuals from different perspectives.
Rush hour traffic is difficult to manoeuvre; in an emergency, one cannot easily assess the traffic situation from the ground. With the use of drones, traffic personnel can immediately get accurate data, and after assessing the situation, they can optimize the traffic as needed. Drones can also monitor speeding vehicles and automatically send notices to the control room about traffic violations.
Aerial surveys using drones help the fire department observe where the fires are spreading and thus plan mitigation strategies to fight out the fires. Time is the most crucial element in emergencies, and drones can provide timely, safe, 360-degree inputs to the firefighters.
Older people with Alzheimer’s and young children sometimes get away from their homes. Also, while skiing in mountains or swimming in the oceans, people sometimes go missing. To search is difficult and time-consuming, but not for drones. With thermal sensors and other latest technology devices on-board, drones can be deployed to rescue people.
In large public events and mass gatherings, law enforcement personnel can only work from the ground, and hence their view is limited. However, by using drones, they can survey the entire area from the air and monitor the situation in real-time. In case of emergency, they can respond faster and deploy the optimal resources.
The traditional use of helicopters in the law enforcement department is now obsolete. Helicopters are highly expensive to purchase and maintain. They require skilled personnel to operate. A drone is far less expensive compared with a helicopter. Moreover, operating a drone is comparatively easy and convenient.
Mobilizing a large fleet of drones in an orderly fashion can be challenging. However, such limitations can be overcome by using intelligent automation software solutions such as FlytNow and KittyHawk.
Such fleet management systems have the following features feature:
- Scalability: They provide scalability so that an operator can manage and control many drones from a single dashboard.
- Automating drone specific activities: Managing a single drone is way different from managing a fleet of them. The increase in number needs a certain type of automation that a fleet management system can provide.
- Intelligent: They provide AI-based features like collision avoidance, precision landing, and object detection, which are considered essential for public safety and law enforcement operations.
FlytNow, a cloud-based application, provides a unified dashboard that provides live video information from all the drones connected to it and thus acts as a command centre.
Drones are connected to the fleet management system via integrating a single-board computer into the drone’s flight control system, communicating with the cloud over the internet, or via a mobile application.
- Many fleet management systems are equipped with an advanced mission planner that allows operators to release multiple drones from immediate response locations.
- Operators can then plan the exact route of the drones that they can follow without human intervention, using the planner’s GUI-based features.
- Fleet management systems also allow for live video surveillance from many drones via a single dashboard; this could prove very useful in crime scene detection & firefighting, where video from many drones can be combined for better situational awareness.
- Law enforcement agencies can capture live video of the ongoing traffic and take into account those breaking the rules, thus making traffic personnel’s job easier and safer.
- FlytNow provides REST APIs that can be used to integrate with emergency response systems like 911; such integration allows an operator to quickly dispatch drones from their control centre dashboard, upon receiving a distress signal.
- Like human and object detection, AI features can be used in search and rescue operations where a drone can quickly cover a large search area and alert officials when the missing person is found.
In this blog, we saw how drones create value for law enforcement and public safety. We also noted how software solutions, such as drone fleet management systems, make remote drone operations easy to accomplish. Deploying drones on a large scale is now a reality for public safety agencies worldwide.