Here in 2019, drones are probably the most associated with cool photography, drone raceand the sparkling promise to steal deliveries from Amazon. But drones could also play a role in law enforcement – and a new report suggests that these robotic aerial robots have a bright future.
In a pilot study conducted by the Chula Vista Police Department in California and a cloud platform for drones capepolice drones contributed to 20 arrests in three months. Starting in October, drones were used as part of a program called DFR (abbreviation of Drone as the first answer). This program sent drones on more than 282 flights, during which the UAVs accumulated about 62 hours of total flight time. The goal was to see how drones could be used to provide real-time aerial data to police officers.
"After being launched at the location of the CVPD headquarters, the designated pilot in the command center can control and manipulate the drone to get the exact visibility needed," said Chris Rittler, Cape's CEO, at Digital Trends. "Since the drone usually arrives on the scene well before ground-based ground units, the command center can better identify and send the necessary resources to the scene. Agents who responded can also view the live stream on their mobile device while on the scene, giving them full visibility of where they are. "
The drones, equipped with Cape's aerial telepresence software, were routed to high priority calls within one kilometer of the Chula Vista Police Department headquarters. These incidents included ongoing crimes, fires, road traffic incidents and reports of dangerous subjects. In one case, the drone was used to arrest a suspect carrying a deadly weapon.
With the success of the study, drones are currently used as active responders for more than 10 hours a day, four days a week. Over time, this number is expected to increase. The CVPD also extends its DFR program beyond the one mile radius, thus unlocking an additional potential impact on the program.
"Recent national data from Cape showed that 71% of people in favor of law enforcement using drones in their communities and 62% would feel safer in their communities if drones were used, "continued Rittler. "With recent FAA proposals promising to potentially reduce regulatory issues, we will also see drones use other cases of use for public safety, including enhancing safety during major public events, ranging from sporting events to concerts, to seasonal events such as the launch of New Year's balloon in New York. "