Drones Aid Police Departments in Strategic Tactical Efforts

Patrol Services Division Cmdr. Chad Karlewicz of the Renton (Wash.) Police Department sees drones as a force multiplier. For example, a survey of the scene of a car accident once took a half-dozen officers six hours to complete.

“Now, we fly over in 20 minutes and literally have millions of measure points,” Karlewicz says. “It cut overtime costs related to crashes and crime scenes in half, and we get the roads open faster.” Their far reach over ground and in the air makes unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, an increasingly appealing tool for law enforcement agencies.

Drones Boost Police Tactical Efforts

Renton police initially bought just two drones in 2016. Over time, they procured other models, such as DJI’s Mavic Air.

By 2017, 347 U.S. public safety departments had added the technology, according to the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, which predicts

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