Arial Drones have been used by civilian agencies for real estate, inspections, agriculture, security, weddings and special events, and general photography for years. There has been a great deal of legal conjecture regarding their use and regulation. So far no deaths have been attributed to civilian drone operation. Commercial drone prices range anywhere from $500 to $50,000.
In 2014 DHS’ Office of the Inspector General reported that after 8 years, Customs and Border Protection, or cannot prove that the drone program is effective. As of the 2014 report, DHS planned to spend $443 million to buy 14 more drones.
In 2010, Miami-Dade County Police became the first law enforcement department in the nation to buy a drone. The $50,000, military-grade flying robot was paid for with a U.S. Department of Justice grant. These drones were never flown.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which spent a total of $600,000 on six drones. They never flew the drones. They found out after purchasing the drones that the real-time battery capability for one UAS model lasted for only about 20 minutes. The others drones had different limitations.
In 2013 the FBI admitted to having and operating drones but used them in a minimal way. They did not at the time disclose the number of drones nor exactly how they were employed in the field.
In 2014, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis signed a Policy regarding drones. In 2015 a drone was flown over the Paradise fire. The Scan Eagle’s
infrared camera helped determine the location of hotspots on the fire.
Recently the White House approved of a $2 Billion contract with India for 22 Drones. The drones are the MQ-9B Guardian which will be an “unarmed” variant of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. This sale is noticeably significant in that it departs from the U.S. policy of keeping drone technology closely held.
Drones have become a great weapons and surveillance system for the military. Drone development is looking like it is a commercial success and could be a great export. It is pretty clear that although the technology is there, the procurement and use of drones just is working out for law enforcement very well. Eventually, drones will be effectively deployed by law enforcement agencies until then the drone craze will continue however effective or not they may be.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.