It’s been an active week for police drone deployment as law-enforcement drones find a sweet home at an historic Alabama festival while police in Texas count on UAVs to make sure the girls (and boys) don’t go wild.
Police in Selma, Ala. are enthusiastic about the possibility drones may offer for event security, sending out four recently purchased Phantom 3 Pros to police this past weekend’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The event which commemorates the civil-rights march from Selma to Montgomery includes a dance, pageant, parade and an annual induction into the National Voting Rights Hall of Fame.
“It will give us a bigger range of security,” Chief John Brock said in a media interview. “If we’ve got a bunch of officers on this corner and something happens on that corner, we can fly over there to find out what’s going on if we can’t get to it.”
According to the Electric Frontier Foundation, the city’s police department is the second in Alabama to purchase UAV technology.
“We’ve had a pretty good response,” reports Sgt. Joe Bills. “I’m sure after they see us flying there will be more of them coming forward wanting to learn.”
Law-enforcement agencies worldwide have found drones an effective solution for crowd security during large events. In February, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department used UAVs to patrol the city’s annual marathon while, in Pakistan, Rawalpindi city officials deployed drones to enforce a ban on kite flying during the annual festival of Basant, which celebrates the beginning of spring.
Meanwhile back in Texas, police in South Padre Island will launch two Yuneec Typhoon Q500 drones this week to keep an eye out for trouble during spring break. With more than 25,000 college students expect to break out on the local beaches this year, police hope the presence of drones will curtail illegal high jinks as well as provide a first response to any emergency situations.
“It’s going to give us a bird’s eye view when we need it,” said Gary Ainsworth, the city’s public information officer. “It’s a 4K camera, so it’s crystal clear.” So, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, you may want to steer clear of South Padre Island or risk jail time – again.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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