The use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in law enforcement
Miller, Mark W.
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In 1929, law enforcement aviation was born in America by the New York Police Department (Solosky, 2008). After reviewing the research, according to their tenure, one would conclude that aviation units have been around for quite some time; therefore, it is obviously a successful program. Large law enforcement agencies use traditional aviation units, using helicopters and fixed wing aircraft which are cost inhibitors for smaller agencies. Since the inception of aviation units, technology has advanced exponentially. There is a smaller, more cost-efficient and faster deployment option available. The use of a small unmanned aircraft system is an option which could benefit large and small law enforcement agencies and should be used to enhance as well as implement aviation units. There are numerous uses for a sUAS in a law enforcement agency. The small size of a sUAS allows them to be transported and stored in the back of any police vehicle. With the fast deployment capability, a sUAS, it would be such a time saver when conducting a search for missing persons, especially critically missing like the young or elderly individuals. Officer safety in hostage negations, bomb threats, and fugitive search and apprehension, are other issues that can be resolved by gaining the ability to observe, gather intelligence and maintain a safe distance from the threat. During emergency management scenarios, such as natural disasters, the sUAScould be deployed to look for survivors, egress and ingress routes, while keeping the first responders from otherwise unseen dangers and hazards. Therefore, all law enforcement agencies should take advantage of the use of sUAS.