Police drone Flying Through City Street. 3D Character Illustration

How Are Police Using Drones?

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

The crime rate, unlike several years ago, has increased. Moreover, the means of committing crimes have also advanced due to the improvement in technology. That is why police are using drones to conduct their services in an advanced manner, including using drones. 

So, how are police using drones?

  • Night Operations
  • Disaster Response
  • Collecting evidence
  • To stream live events
  • Damage Assessment
  • Searching for suspects
  • Police officer’s security
  • Accident reconstruction 
  • Search and rescue missions
  • Pre-planned police pursuits

Some of the most used drones by the police include but are not limited to:

  • DJI Mavic 2
  • AceCore Zoe
  • DJI M300 RTK
  • Parrot Anafi USA
  • Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced

This advancement has seen many police officers use drones in their countries to keep their citizens and borders safe from any potential danger. Besides, the information they collect is timely, speeding up their response. 

It is a new, advanced world!

So, let us look at how these incredibly cheaper, faster, more reliable, and safer-to-use drones are used in police departments. 

Indeed, keep reading. 

Police drone flying over city
Police drone flying over city

How Are Police Using Drones?

Everyone, including the police, wants cheaper and highly effective means of delivering services than costly yet highly ineffective methods. 

That is why almost every police department is now using drones. Not only are they cheaper than hiring more police, but they are highly reliable and transmit real-time data to the respective departments.

Not only that, but drones access areas that would probably cause loss of life if they would get into active shooting against them. From a study by the University of Nevada, it is clear that around 1,172 police departments in the country have shifted to drone use. 

Here are the major ways police are using drones. 

Collecting Evidence:

Without evidence, criminals would go unpunished! Hence, police must collect evidence to prove that certain people are guilty of certain crimes.

So, police can take photos and film a zone, for example, of clothes, knives, and guns, among other assets they may find in the suspect’s home or hiding places. 

It is not relevant to the manner of the crime. The rule of thumb is to provide clear and accurate information! This is what proves that, indeed, the accused has committed a crime.

The photos or videos, dates, and times must all be accurate. Else, the court would nullify the evidence and allow the guilty to go free!

Explaining some detail by word of mouth may be difficult, but showing the actual scene using photos and videos works perfectly well.  

Searching For Suspects:

Like the thermal drones that police rely on when looking for missing persons, searching for suspects relies on the same technology. Therefore, when police hear of shootings without seeing the shooters, they deploy drones to see the shooter’s hiding place. 

The other great thing about using a thermal drone to trace or see the hiding places of suspects is that it can save the life of the police, especially if the suspects are heavily armed. What’s more?

The hard-to-reach zones are accessible by drones. Therefore, there would be no limitations to knowing the suspect’s hiding place and taking legal action immediately. 

One of the best things about thermal drones is that, unlike humans, who may only see a small geographical area, drones can see large areas and quickly spot a suspect, even if he is on the run. Better still is that they can collect information even in dark hours or places. 

Search and Rescue (SAR) Missions:

Drones have optical gas imaging and thermal sensors used in Search and Rescue missions. This technology saves time because the rescue team does not have to go to all areas; the sensor can detect the possible locations where they are likely to find the missing person.  

Here is what happens, if there is a human being anywhere, the sensors detect thermal activity, which is a good reason to narrow their search to such areas. 

Besides, high-quality drones, for example, thermal drones, can detect a missing person successfully. This is especially possible if the missing person is still alive, even if they are in a dark or thick forest. Drones will detect the thermal heat of people and convey information. 

Accident Reconstruction:

It is unimaginable that more than 33 000 traffic accidents in the U.S. end in the loss of the life of at least one person! 

A report by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) shows, for example, 35766 fatal accidents that occurred in 2020.

Accidents happen worldwide so for deadly accidents, besides the ambulance paramedics, reconstructionists should be among the first people to arrive at the scene. The latter focuses on the scene to take photos and videos.  

They are highly trained to provide photos and videos of what happened shortly before the accident occurred. Plus, the actual occurrences during the accident and after. 

Through their knowledge, they combine mathematics, physics, photogrammetry, dynamics, and computer applications to come up with a clear picture of how everything took place at the accident scene. 

Disaster Response:

Disasters, especially natural ones, happen anywhere, anytime. While taking immediate action to save lives is necessary, it is equally dangerous for anyone to visit such areas before they can ascertain if they are safe.

Aside from natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and earthquakes, other disasters such as buildings collapsing and fires occur. 

Police use drones to know if people (dead or alive) are trapped in such areas to take immediate action. When rescue missions begin, for example, in a collapsed building, drones can detect the exact place the trapped person is to target the right areas for a quick and timely response.

Drone flying over forest/hills on fire.
Drones are helpful in disaster management.

Crowd Control:

Police are highly tasked with monitoring people during high-population events. Such could be regular public gatherings, prominent people’s weddings or burials, sports events, and parades. Not to mention riots and protests that threaten innocent people’s lives and businesses.

Not only are such high crowds challenging to monitor, but they could also be highly risky. Yet, the police must ensure there is peace and safety during demonstrations.

Therefore, using drones to monitor high crowds is effective because high-quality drones can help monitor a large area. 

One major pro of using drones this way is that the police do not have to find their way through these large crowds. They can monitor the events’ occurrence from other places without anyone noticing, making it easy to catch up with lawbreakers.

Drone flying over street crowded with people
Drones are very effective in crowd control

Live Streaming:

Drones are highly effective in live streaming. The high-rank police and the patrol officers can use drones to transmit the live stream.

Drones live streaming is an effective way of helping them, for example, traffic police, to convey information regarding the occurrences on a particular road to their bosses, who could be in their offices.

It is a good way of eliminating bribery by corrupt officers and ensuring that the law is enforced in all areas.

What is more? Police officers can zoom a live event to view the activities taking place. Besides, top-quality drones can also spy on enclosed areas without the hosts noticing.

Police Officer’s Safety:

Police using a drone from a hidden place is equal to giving a high-risk report while concealing your face to prevent the viewers from seeing your face to enhance your safety!

The police spying on high-risk areas or following up with highly dangerous suspects can use drones from hiding places and still attack them anonymously without risking their lives.

Furthermore, when using a drone to monitor and control huge crowds of rioting people, the officers can operate the drone from a hiding place so that no one knows who is behind the camera.  

Damage Assessment:

Police use drones to assess the amount of damage caused by artificial such as fires or natural disasters such as earthquakes. 

Not only do police use drones to know how much damage has taken place, but they also assess if the affected area is safe for entry. If it is, they use drones to evaluate the economic and physical losses. 

The gathered information is later passed to the necessary authorities for necessary actions. 

Night Operations:

It is the role of the police to ensure that the citizens of any given nation are safe 24/7. So, whether it is during the night or day, from January to December, the police must conduct their operations accordingly.

That is why drones are a vital asset for nighttime police operations. Unlike ordinary drones, their drones have more abilities and can see through the night. 

Since their zooming power is incredibly high, they only need a little light to see during the night. Besides, they also have top-quality thermal cameras.

Drones come in handy during police nighttime operations because they also hover over the same places for an extended time while making their presence less obvious to the people!

In addition, their batteries can last longer, which is ideal for police operations. 

Pre-Planned Police Pursuits:

Police, using their high intelligence skills, may foresee a possible pursuit and start making plans.

Such pursuits need highly trained police to prevent the suspect from getting hints of any police pursuits.

Even so, a police car coming so close to the suspect’s car (if he is using one) would make it obvious that some police officers are tracking him down.

Therefore, besides using police cars, police use drones to track the suspect’s movement. Resultantly, they can plan on the best location to block the roads and raid the suspect, which should be an effective tactic. 

Police officers launching drones.
Police use drones to track the movement of suspects.

What Are the Advantages Of Drones to the Police?

There are many advantages of drones to police, especially in the advanced world. Some major ones include;

Low Risk:

As aforementioned, drones lower the risk involved when spying on suspects; for example, dangerous suspects that might be fully armed might be too dangerous or difficult to spy on.

Consequently, the police can monitor their actions from afar and plan an effective arrest to yield the intended results successfully. 

This is especially the case if there is active shooting going on. Also, it may be unclear if more explosives exist in bombed buildings.

Such buildings are highly dangerous and need advanced technology to ascertain if they are safe for entry. Otherwise, more people may die when rescue services begin. 


Drones lower the need for human employment. They can do duties that would require several police officers to complete. Moreover, they would complete the task faster, more accurately, and precisely. 

Besides, police officers deployed in extremely risky zones command high pay, which would cost the government a lot of money. It is much cheaper, therefore, to spend on an expensive drone than spend the same amount on salaries each month. 

Still, drones are more economical than traditional helicopters to conduct police services. 

Fast Aerial Surveillance:

Unless the police use helicopters, they cannot conduct aerial surveillance services. Drones help them do so without a pilot, which would be dangerous, especially if there were gunshots.

Besides, drones are quiet, unlike helicopters which would attract the suspects’ attention and mess up everything. 

Aerial surveillance also makes it possible for police to see zones that would be challenging to access without drones. 

Not to mention, drones surpass human response in so many ways. For example, before the police get ready to start operations in a crime zone, a police officer can have a drone in operation and begin collecting the needed information. 


Why Do Police Use Drones UK?

Police use drones UK for various reasons, for example, to view large areas from any desired angle while in the aerial view. In addition, UK police use drones to access information that would be too dangerous for entry. 

Other uses include but are not limited to monitoring live events for the sake of the citizen’s safety, payload deployment, conducting tactical operations, managing crises, evaluating natural and artificial disasters, plus conducting accident reconstructions. 

However, it is vital to note that police in the UK use drones the same way police officers from other countries use them. This is because their roles are the same worldwide. 

UK police find drones to be less expensive, more accurate, and more advanced in transmitting timely information than human police would be. So, regardless of the police department and role, drones are an essential digital asset advancing every day, making it even better for them in their line of duty.

What Kind of Drones are Used by the Police?

Police use powerful drones such as Parrot Anafi USA, DJI Mavic 2, Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, DJI M300 RTK, and AceCore Zoe. 

These powerful drones help them in all their activities, including SAR missions and tracking suspects, as discussed above in this write-up. 

Parrot Anafi drone with its controller
Parrot Anafi is one of the top drones for police use

Do Local Police Use Drones?

Yes, local police, just like national or international, do use drones. You see, it is not about where they are based; it is about their duties! 

So, it does not matter if they are local; their duty to humanity is a thing they cannot compromise on. Besides, they should always portray the highest level of professionalism in their line of duty. 

Therefore, more and more local police are using drones to respond to disasters, enforcement of the law, conduct investigations, and do search and rescue missions. 

Parting Shot:

Drone use in police services is not going away; more police departments are starting to use these super-powerful devices. Besides, search and rescue services, criminal activities, search for suspects, accident reconstructions, and disaster responses are some of the significant activities that go on every day in police departments.  

Time is of the essence, so police have to make good use of it to save lives and bring criminals to justice! Also, it is cheaper and faster to perform the above duties using drones than hiring more police officers or buying helicopters. 

Still, it is safer than deploying police in high-risk zones. 

Happy Flying!

Article Name
How Are Police Using Drones?
Here in this blog we explain about usage of drone technology by police department.
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Remoteflyer Private Limited.
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