Community Policing & Uncrewed Aerial Systems
Category: Law Enforcement
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for all my friends in Law Enforcement. Today, I’d like to talk to my law enforcement friends about using uncrewed aerial systems, or UAS, to supplement boots on the ground.
When you consider all the options, it’s possible and reasonable to have a UAS program while also adhering to a community-oriented policing model.
The idea of a UAS flying overhead hints of Big Brother and might be unnerving to some folks. The community-oriented policing model certainly didn’t include cops spying on the community with sneaky, small overhead aircraft.
But we know air operations can make policing safer and more effective. So how do we remain community-oriented and use unmanned flight technology? Perhaps there’s no conflict after all!
Community policing balances our response with proactive problem-solving through partnerships. This helps us identify and effectively address issues. If we consider UAS deployment as a method for assisting with problems, it’s not in conflict with the community approach.
Think of the UAS in the same context as police canines. There are agencies that use dogs strictly for search and rescue operations. In contrast, other agencies may use drug-sniffing dogs. While others rely on dogs for patrol operations. Simply put, the UAS is just a tool that can assist both us and the community.
Through community partnerships, agency leaders can make choices on UAS deployment that match the needs of the community. For example, a rural county sheriff’s office may rely on the UAS strictly for search and rescue operations. In contrast, urban police departments might use this technology for lawful surveillance or to assist with crimes in progress.
When you consider all the options, it’s possible and reasonable to have a UAS program while also adhering to a community-oriented policing model. Don’t limit your ability to provide valuable services to the community. And don’t forget to have a conversation with community leaders about this exciting technology. Communication with the public is essential if you want to establish buy-in.
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off.