Controversy surrounds law enforcement’s use of drones

Controversy surrounds law enforcement's use of drones

Controversy surrounds law enforcement’s use of drones

Although it depends on where individuals complete their law enforcement training and end up working, there is a chance they could serve and protect the public alongside robotic drones. While it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, this scenario is already a reality in some parts of the country.

While drones are designed to enhance the work police do on a daily basis, there are those who are not entirely comfortable with these machines patrolling the skies.

Concerns over public safety and privacy
While those who hold law enforcement jobs may see the value in using police drones, many members of the general public are more skeptical. According to Fox News, police agencies have said the drones can be used during search-and-rescue operations, when conducting surveillance of suspects and collecting details on damage in the aftermath of natural disasters.

However, there are lawmakers who do not think people would be too pleased with drones collecting information on their lives without their permission.

“I do not think our citizens would want cameras to fly overhead and collect data on our lives,” Montana Senator Matthew Rosendale recently told a legislative panel, as quoted by the news source.

In Montana, lawmakers from both political parties are joining forces to restrict drone use in their state. Meanwhile, Virginia lawmakers recently approved a two-year moratorium on police and government agencies’ use of these machines.

“The use of drones across the country has become a great threat to our personal privacy,” Niki Zupanic, the policy director for ACLU of Montana, told the news outlet. “The door is wide open for intrusions into our personal private space.”

Fear of drones
If law enforcement chooses to use drones, they also need to realize that many people may actually be afraid of these machines and, as a result, the police as well. Based on the results of a recent Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll, more than a third of Americans have concerns over their privacy as long as police use drones, The Associated Press reported.

Furthermore, 35 percent of respondents said they were “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” that the use of police drones would cause them to lose their privacy. At the same time, almost as many people reported they were “not too concerned” or “not concerned at all.”

Law enforcement takes a futuristic turn with new technology

Law enforcement takes a futuristic turn with new technology

Law enforcement takes a futuristic turn with new technology

Like many other fields, the criminal justice sector is embracing new technology at a rapid rate, making law enforcement training more important than ever.

“Tech is huge in all aspects of law enforcement,” Raymond Schultz, the Albuquerque police chief, told USA Today at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. “We continue to try to take it to the next level.”

Recently, the news source highlighted several of the innovations police officers may find themselves using in the not-too-distant future. For example, one inventor has created a sleeve that features a built-in camera, video display, stun gun and laser. Schultz is hoping to bring his police department into the future by having all street cops wear video cameras that must be switched on whenever they are responding to a call.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that there could be a day when police can dispatch unmanned drones to pursue suspects, whether they are speeding down the highways or walking through a residential neighborhood. Not only would the use of these remote-controlled aircraft keep officers out of danger, but keep police helicopters grounded, which, in turn, could save taxpayers money.

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