Best Drones for Police
From the moment they came on the scene, the value of drones in law enforcement has been unequivocal. The advent of user-friendly professional drone packages especially has meant that the operator doesn’t need years of training to put the drone to effective use. Perhaps that’s why 2017 saw a 518 percent increase in drone use, over the previous 24 months, in U.S. public safety and law enforcement agencies.
There are many ways that police departments can make use of the incredible potential of drones. From keeping police officers out of harm’s way, to helping them achieve results not possible in any other way, drones are going a long way to help make our society safer.
Search and Rescue – The first and most obvious use for drones by police agencies is search and rescue. Drones can cover territory much more quickly and efficiently than officers can on foot or even by vehicle. Moreover, drones can get under tree cover, or between buildings, to access places that helicopters can’t. When equipped with a thermal camera, a drone can easily spot a lost or missing person hidden under rubble, undergrowth or even at night.
Tracking – Police drones can be used to aid in apprehending criminals on the run. With object tracking capabilities, the drone can track and follow an individual fleeing the scene of a crime, and provide information on the entire scenario, allowing officers to more safely apprehend the suspect.
Officer Safety – An aerial perspective can provide vital information in dangerous situations such as active shooter scenes, or in the investigation of illegal operations. The eyes in the sky can assess the situation, getting both the big picture and even down to minute detail with zoom cameras, while increasing the safety of law enforcement officers. High-risk traffic stops also can be made safer by the use of drones. In situations where a suspect is refusing to get out of a vehicle, the officers can deploy a drone to assess the situation or even broadcast recorded messages, while keeping at a safe distance.
Monitoring – Drones can serve a vital role in crowd monitoring as well, allowing operators to scan the entire scene for suspicious behavior, or to locate individuals in distress. Zoom cameras, here again, are essential in their ability to see the overall view as well as the tiniest details.
Reporting and Analysis – An aerial perspective in conjunction with mapping software can play a role in reconstructing traffic collisions or crime scenes. Photographs and maps produced by drone camera software can be used in analyzing the sequence of a collision for accident reports, as well as unraveling the events connected to a crime.
Best drones for police operations
There are three drone solutions, in particular, that stand out as having the necessary features to meet the demands required of police drones.
Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual
Don’t be fooled by the compact size and portability of the Mavic – it is a powerful tool, with an impressive set of features just right for work as a police drone. Obstacle sensing and sense and avoid features make the Mavic a user-friendly choice, and password protected login for drone operation and access to data ensure that information stays secure.
The Dual sensor provides the thermal capability essential for search and rescue missions and more, as well as a powerful zoom camera to get great detail while keeping operators out of harm’s way.
The Mavic Enterprise also has the unique feature of optional, top-mounted payloads: a beacon, a spotlight, and/or a speaker. The beacon and spotlight can be used in night-time operations to improve safety or shed light where needed, and the speaker can have potential applications in hostage, shooter, or other high-risk criminal situations.
Inspire 1 with XT
A real genius of flight, the Inspire 1 is another good choice for police operations, especially when combined with the XT thermal camera. The Inspire 1 boasts a ready-to-fly, complete package of powerful flight and safety features. An intelligent GPS system and the DJI created vision positioning system ensures that the drone can hover in a precise location, an absolute must in many law enforcement situations. A failsafe system ensures that the drone returns to you if the batteries run low or connection to the controller is lost.
The Zenmuse XT thermal sensor provides thermal imaging at 640/30 fps or 336/30 fps (depending on the camera model). The 50mK sensitivity of the XT provides accurate temperature measurements for use in analytics. The camera is stabilized and controlled by DJI’s custom gimbal, ensuring smooth, clear imagery and 360 degrees of seamless rotational movement.
The Inspire 1 can also carry other cameras such as the Zenmuse X3 or X5, to capture high-quality video and photo, with powerful zoom capabilities. With this interchangeability, the Inspire 1 can be adapted to meet mission-specific demands.
Matrice 210 V2 with Z30 and XT2
The top of the line drone for law enforcement work is the Matrice 210, with the newly released V2 and its enhanced features, including enhanced intelligent control systems, flight performance, and added flight safety and data security features. All of the Matrice 200 series drones boast an IP rating of 43, making it ready to handle missions in all kinds of weather conditions. The Matrice 210 however, is the obvious choice for police work, as it can carry a dual payload giving you the luxury of multiple options in one flight.
The Zenmuse XT2 houses dual visual and thermal sensors, enabling FLIR’s MSX capability. This means that for missions where thermal imagery is critical, images are enhanced by visual data overlay, giving you the clearest image possible.
The Zenmuse Z30 is the most powerful integrated aerial zoom camera on the market with 30x optical and 6x digital zoom for a total magnification up to 180x. Such a powerful zoom has usefulness in police situations such as monitoring and search and rescue.