Demographics of Drones

Drones are aircraft that can fly without a human onboard. Drones can fly either by remote control or on a predetermined flight path (Thompson 2012). Drones can range from size of an insect to the size of a jet. Drones are most known for their missions that are aboard that try to target suspected members of Al Qaeda, however they are used on US soil also by one law enforcement agency, The Department of Homeland.

In the United States alone, approximately 50 companies, universities, and government organizations are developing and producing over 155 unmanned aircraft designs. The Department of Homeland uses Drones to police the nations borders to deter unlawful border crossing by unauthorized aliens, criminal and terrorist and to detect and interdict the smuggling of weapons and drugs. Customs and Border Protection uses them to patrol along the US/Mexican border. Drones have a number of benefits for Law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement agencies consider drones an inexpensive way to get better situational awareness during dangerous operations, such as drug busts and hostage situations, can enter environments that are dangerous to human life Firefighters are also investigating drones and how they may help them scout wildfires, identify hard-to-locate hotspots, or find trapped people in areas that helicopters can’t reach. Some police departments are testing them for uses such as photographing accident sites and finding criminal suspects. The uses of drones are very efficient. First of all they are cost benefit.

Drones themselves are much cheaper than helicopters or other aircraft, plus they cost much less to operate per hour than do other aircraft. Unmanned aircraft will make certain activities easier, safer, more efficient, and more cost effective. Secondly drones will take significant danger away from law enforcement officials who put their lives at risk every day. With the risk of danger officers can function much more normally than having to worry about the dangers that come with the job as much. Finally, they are effective in tracking down illegal activity and can carry our dangerous surveillance tasks.

Drones can help the law enforcement agencies out in a multitude of ways. They can help monitor a heavy crown situation. They can go in locations that helicopters or other vehicles cannot go when searching for something or someone. With a drone it can definitely extend the existing capabilities of law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement authorities say drones can be a cost-effective technology to help with a host of policing efforts, like locating bombs, finding lost children, monitoring weather and wildlife or assisting rescue workers in natural disasters. The FAA sends out Certificates of Authorizations (COAs) to fly unmanned aircraft.

Since January 2012, according to congressional testimony presented the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized 106 federal, state and local government “entities” to fly drones, within U. S. airspace. Only federal, state, and local government agencies can apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA); private sector entities must apply for special airworthiness certificates in the experimental category. Such as NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other federal agencies, police departments and universities can apply for these certificates of authorization.

The rule announced today calls for agencies to first show they can operate a drone before getting an FAA permit. Drones must fly within 400 feet of the ground, remain in sight of the operator and stay clear of airports, unless they have received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration. Police, fire and similar departments will be able to fly drones weighing as much as 25 pounds. When the FAA issues out authorizations out, the FAA requires the drone operators to be licensed pilots in manned aircraft. This is because the person operating the drones needs experience in flying.

They must also receive training in the drone they will be flying. The sensor operators do not need-manned aircraft certificates; just training in the environment the (drone) will be flying and the equipment itself. When regulating the use the use of drones only the FAA regulate the use of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes military and non-military (academic institutions; federal, state, and local governments including law enforcement entities; and private sector entities) UAS operations on a limited basis after conducting a case-by-case safety review,

It is clear that drones are useful for surveillance and law enforcement while creating significant concerns over privacy rights. Opponents of drone surveillance have complained that the use of unmanned aircraft on American soil infringes upon fundamental privacy interest and the ability to freely associate with others. Many say that drone violate the privacy rights that are in the Fourth Amendment. However some still feel that drones are beneficial when used correctly. Lawmakers in at least 11 states are proposing various restrictions on the use of drones.

The city of Charlottesville, Va., passed a two-year moratorium and police officers are prohibited from using in criminal cases any evidence obtained by drones. In Florida, a pending bill will require the police to get a warrant to use drones in an investigation; a Virginia statewide moratorium on drones passed both houses. International Association of Chiefs of Police has guidelines for law enforcement agencies to use drones. The IACP has created recommended guidelines for the use of unmanned aircraft and I have attached it to this paper.

The highlights of the guidelines are Equipping the aircraft with weapons of any type is strongly discouraged, and drones equipped with cameras or other sensors is strongly discouraged due to concerns over reliability and safety. As of right now the state of Mississippi has no recorded use of drones. However I feel that the Mississippi Department of Public Safety would be a great program to have the use of a drone. Mississippi Department of Public Safety encompasses the Highway Patrol and Bureau of Investigation, which are vital aspects in the law enforcement field in this state.

Drones can be very beneficial to these law enforcement agencies. Drones can be used in the Highway patrol department in assessing car accident or routine traffic problems that occur on a daily basis. Also monitoring intersections, overpasses and rest stops that are on interstates. With the Bureau of Investigation, drones can help find clues about murder or robbery cases. Also can help out in missing person cases and fires that were suspected of arson. These law enforcement agencies can greatly benefit from the use of drone if the drones are used correctly.

In conclusion the use of drones should be greatly considered as long as laws are in placed to help control them. The law enforcement agencies can really use the drones to speed up and actually account for things involved in a crime. Guidelines should be in place for drones so that they would not interfere so much with the constitutional rights that citizens are given. INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE AVIATION COMMITTEE Recommended Guidelines for the use of Unmanned Aircraft BACKGROUND: Rapid advances in technology have led to the development and increased use of unmanned aircraft.

That technology is now making its way into the hands of law enforcement officers nationwide. We also live in a culture that is extremely sensitive to the idea of preventing unnecessary government intrusion into any facet of our lives. Personal rights are cherished and legally protected by the Constitution. Despite their proven effectiveness, concerns about privacy threaten to overshadow the benefits this technology promises to bring to public safety. From enhanced officer safety by exposing unseen dangers, to finding those most vulnerable who may have wandered away from their caregivers, the potential benefits are irrefutable.

However, privacy concerns are an issue that must be dealt with effectively if a law enforcement agency expects the public to support the use of UA by their police. The Aviation Committee has been involved in the development of unmanned aircraft policy and regulations for several years. The Committee recommends the following guidelines for use by any law enforcement agency contemplating the use of unmanned aircraft. 1 IACP Aviation CommitteeAugust 2012 DEFINITIONS: 1. Model Aircraft – A remote controlled aircraft used by hobbyists, which is manufactured and operated for the purposes of sport, recreation and/or competition.

2. Unmanned Aircraft (UA) – An aircraft that is intended to navigate in the air without an on-board pilot. Also called Remote Piloted Aircraft and “drones. ” 3. UA Flight Crewmember – A pilot, visual observer, payload operator or other person assigned duties for a UA for the purpose of flight. 4. Unmanned Aircraft Pilot – A person exercising control over an unmanned aircraft during flight. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: 1. Law enforcement agencies desiring to use UA should first determine how they will use this technology, including the costs and benefits to be gained. 2.

The agency should then engage their community early in the planning process, including their governing body and civil liberties advocates. 3. The agency should assure the community that it values the protections provided citizens by the U. S. Constitution. Further, that the agency will operate the aircraft in full compliance with the mandates of the Constitution, federal, state and local law governing search and seizure. 4. The community should be provided an opportunity to review and comment on agency procedures as they are being drafted. Where appropriate, recommendations should be considered for adoption in the policy.

5. As with the community, the news media should be brought into the process early in its development. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: 1. The UA should have the ability to capture flight time by individual flight and cumulative over a period of time. The ability to reset the flight time counter should be restricted to a supervisor or administrator. 2. The aircraft itself should be painted in a high visibility paint scheme. This will facilitate line of sight control by the aircraft pilot and allow persons on the ground to monitor the location of the aircraft.

This recommendation recognizes that in some cases where officer safety is a concern, such as high risk warrant service, high visibility may not be optimal. However, most situations of this type are conducted covertly and at night. Further, given the ability to observe a large area from an aerial vantage point, it may not be necessary to fly the aircraft directly over the target location. 3. Equipping the aircraft with weapons of any type is strongly discouraged. Given the current state of the technology, the ability to effectively deploy weapons from a small UA is doubtful.

Further, public acceptance of airborne use of force is likewise doubtful and could result in unnecessary community resistance to the program. 4. The use of model aircraft, modified with cameras, or other sensors, is discouraged due to concerns over reliability and safety. 2 IACP Aviation CommitteeAugust 2012 OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES: 1. UA operations require a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A law enforcement agency contemplating the use of UA should contact the FAA early in the planning process to determine the requirements for obtaining a COA.

2. UA will only be operated by personnel, both pilots and crew members, who have been trained and certified in the operation of the system. All agency personnel with UA responsibilities, including command officers, will be provided training in the policies and procedures governing their use. 3. All flights will be approved by a supervisor and must be for a legitimate public safety mission, training, or demonstration purposes. 4. All flights will be documented on a form designed for that purpose and all flight time shall be accounted for on the form.

The reason for the flight and name of the supervisor approving will also be documented. 5. An authorized supervisor/administrator will audit flight documentation at regular intervals. The results of the audit will be documented. Any changes to the flight time counter will be documented. 6. Unauthorized use of a UA will result in strict accountability. 7. Except for those instances where officer safety could be jeopardized, the agency should consider using a “Reverse 911” telephone system to alert those living and working in the vicinity of aircraft operations (if such a system is available).

If such a system is not available, the use of patrol car public address systems should be considered. This will not only provide a level of safety should the aircraft make an uncontrolled landing, but citizens may also be able to assist with the incident. 8. Where there are specific and articulable grounds to believe that the UA will collect evidence of criminal wrongdoing and if the UA will intrude upon reasonable expectations of privacy, the agency will secure a search warrant prior to conducting the flight.

IMAGE RETENTION: 1. Unless required as evidence of a crime, as part of an on-going investigation, for training, or required by law, images captured by a UA should not be retained by the agency. 2. Unless exempt by law, retained images should be open for public inspection. 3 IACP Aviation CommitteeAugust 2012 References http://www. foxnews. com/politics/2013/02/06/states-propose-limiting-use-drones-by-police/#ixzz2QjEPABqE http://droneswatch. org/2013/03/26/finally-the-backlash-against-drones-takes-fliht/#more-1497.

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