Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Editor’s note: Law enforcement agencies nationwide are adopting unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – also known as drones – for operations as diverse as search and rescue, traffic accident reconstruction and SWAT response. PoliceOne’s special coverage series – 2018 Guide to Drones in Law Enforcement – takes an in-depth look at considerations for police departments looking to implement a UAS program.


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Until fairly recently, FAA regulations seemed somewhat unclear about exactly when and how law enforcement agencies can use UAVs. Now that there is a little deeper understanding of the legal parameters, police agencies are beginning to adopt the technology. The most obvious use for a UAV in law enforcement is for search and rescue operations. Drones can get under the canopy of thickly wooded areas and see what officers in a helicopter could not. Further, this technology can be helpful in standoff situations and other incidents where getting “eyes on” from a distance provides a tactical advantage for police. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss the ways in which police can use UAVs.

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