States Rushing to Limit the Use of Drones by Law Enforcement

Tim RieckerInspired by this Washington Times article.  I must say I don’t understand why people are protesting the use of drones (aka unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) domestically.  Yes, they fly; and they have cameras with telephoto lenses.  Their use, however, from a law enforcement perspective is largely no different from that of helicopters or small fixed-wing aircraft – except at a much lower cost and no danger of physical harm to individuals, such as pilots or crew, which occur far too often – mostly with helicopters.  I think portions of the public have greatly overreacted to what they have seen of the military versions of these drones by way of mass media.  They certainly do have great capability in that theater, but use domestically is vastly different – especially being that they aren’t armed with hellfire missiles and the like.  Now with politicians weighing in, the over-reaction continues, and at a detriment to public safety.

I truly hope that a compromise can be found with people realizing that the use of drones, within all current standards of surveillance, warrants, etc., is not a threat to their privacy.  It is, in fact, a demonstration of smart government, leveraging technology to enhance capabilities at a lower cost and increased safety.  In aerial surveillance, drones can be used for nearly anything a helicopter or small fixed-wing aircraft could be used for; including rapid deployment after a shooting or robbery to look for a subject, or to find an Alzheimer’s patient gone missing.  These are noble and proper efforts that I hope won’t be impeded by knee jerk reactions based upon misinformation.

What are your thoughts?  Am I missing something here?

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