Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) In Law Enforcement




Burt, Jack

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Technology is constantly advancing in law enforcement at a rapid pace. The use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), also known as drones, is becoming more prevalent among law enforcement agencies. With new technology usually comes a steep price tag as well. In the last several years, the price of these drones have dropped dramatically making them more affordable for agencies to utilize in their departments. With any new police technology comes with public scrutiny and with these miniature helicopters hitting the skies for police departments also comes the responsibility of protecting the public’s Fourth Amendment rights against warrantless searches. The benefits for the law enforcement agencies that are using sUAS are showing quicker response times and improving the safety of the officers that are risking their lives everyday doing their jobs. Just some of the many uses for sUAS are search and rescue, bomb threat situations, and active shooter/ hostage situations. Police officers are not strangers to any of these situations and the dangers that come with each of them. For example, with the use of the sUAS, they have proven in situations to be extremely helpful in reducing the times needed for searching the area for people while covering more area doing so. These sUAS also allows police officers to have an aerial view during active shooter situations giving them live footage which gives law enforcement officers a better tactical advantage dealing with these types of situations and reducing the risk for police officer injuries. Law enforcement agencies should implement the use of sUAS within their departments.


Police--Equipment, Drone Aircraft