Let’s start by stating that these two questions are perfectly asked together. The use of drones by law enforcement will only cause more trust issues between communities and police. If law enforcement could be trusted to follow the rules that they set forth maybe drones wouldn’t be such an issue. The intention of using a drone seem relevant however, will they only be used when the situation requires, or will they be overused? Drones would be a perfect solution for catching suspects fleeing in vehicles or on foot through dark areas to prevent bodily harm or injury to an officer.
There are rules in place such as search warrants are required to search and individuals home. The law also requires that for video surveillance to be legal or used in court the person must be notified that they are being recorded. If drones are going to be used to patrol areas there is no way to notify the public that are being recorder. This will create an issue once the drone detects suspicious activity and the police decide to act. Overall this subject is very debatable as it relates to the privacy of the public. If drones are going to be used by law enforcement there would need to be some major stipulations as to when, where, why and how.
Drones could be reliable when it come to identifying or locating suspects when it may endanger innocent citizens. An example is instead of police partaking in a high speed, high risk chases they could use the drone to keep identification on the suspect and or vehicle. This will allow police and or state troopers the opportunity to avoid putting others in harm’s way. This method would reduce the deaths of officers and citizens, there would be no chasing suspects on busy or operating roads. The issues of using drones outweigh the pros of using them. It would take some evidence and statistics to convince the public to give up their privacy to help reduce deaths in a situation that may be unrelatable.
From 1996-2015 an average of 355 people was killed annually in pursuit related crashes. This totals about one death per day. Often the jurisdiction where the pursuit takes place does not have a policy designed to outline the rules and regulations about high speed pursuits. If law enforcement were to implement a policy this would only cover the basics and the predictable. What about the unexpected factors that will vary per every pursuit. There should be no policy to implement, there should be no high-speed pursuits. There is no logical way to prepare or practice for this type of event. This method of catching a suspect will only increase the number of casualties. There must be a plausible method of locating and catching a suspect that doesn’t risk others wellbeing.
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