While a Texas police agency mulls over the use of drones, other law-enforcement agencies across the world are already ramping up UAV deployment to make their streets safer. In other words, it’s time to delve into the DRONELIFE Public Safety Roundup (cue Law and Order theme).
Down in Houston, the metro police department wants to do more homework before turning their officers lose over the city with quadcopters. “It’s a technology that we’ve talked about and have been looking into for the last couple of months,” HPD assistant chief Matt Slinkard told the Houston Press. He added that the department still lacked “hard, concrete research” about how best to use drones. If the Bayou City decides to look to the skies to keep their citizens safe, they will join a burgeoning group of police and other public safety officials using UAV tech in the Lonestar State. Most recently, South Padre Island launched two Yuneec Typhoon Q500 drones this past month to keep an eye out for trouble during spring break — when more than 25,000 college students swarmed to local beaches there.
Police across the Asian Subcontinent could very well outpace their American counterparts when it comes to embracing drone technology. As previously reported in DRONELIFE, law enforcement in Pakistan, Kazakhstan and India (especially India) make headlines almost weekly with new UAV deployments for police work and other public safety tasks.
Most recently, state police in Ahmedabad, India announced the launch of two quadcopters each christened “Netra” for traffic patrol on congested streets and highways. “While there are cameras installed at important crossroads, it cannot provide the big picture which can be used to take long-term decisions,” said Police Commissioner Subhash Trivedi. “The drones, with photos and videos, would be able to point at traffic patterns in various areas at different times of the day. The inputs can be used to develop alternative routes or re-aligning the personnel,” he added.
Further south, the Royal Malaysian Police revealed plans this week to use UAVs to patrol high crime areas. In addition to surveillance for possible terrorist attacks, Police Inspector-General Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the drones could possibly track criminal suspects by linking telemetry with a biometric database. In the Bukit Aman District of Kuala Lumpur, police already fly four drones for crime patrols. “The drone unit has been established and is progressing fairly well. But there are a host of safety and regulatory issues to be resolved and we need to engage actively with the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to ensure effective implementation,” said Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Datuk S. Sathiya Seelan.
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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