A surge in police officers in northern Texas trained to fly drones.
While small aircraft offer many public security benefits, so many new police eyes floating in the sky also raise privacy issues.
Lieutenant Neillandfield oversees drones and 22 other police officers authorized to use them at the Arlington Police Station.
According to Landfield, the department cannot snoop with a drone.
“We aren’t using drones to generate possible causes. We’re going where police officers already have permission to go,” Landfield said.
Infrared video from the Arlington drone recently helped police determine that the wanted on the roof was unarmed. It led to a peaceful surrender.
Drones can be used to search for armed suspects in confined spaces such as the attic that police officers have done in the past.
“The first thing the bad guys saw was the policeman’s head, but now you can fly these little drones into an unlit attic and show them a $ 500 toy drone.” Landfield said.
Drones can be launched quickly to support search and rescue missions for people stuck in storm damage.
“In the United States, there is always a debate about technological advances and whether our privacy is being consumed,” said Alex del Carmen, a criminal justice expert at Tarleton State University.
He said drones cost much less than helicopters, and police training requires protective measures against improper intrusions.
“As long as it’s responsible and used within the framework of the Constitution, I just think it’s positive,” said Dell Carmen.
According to a Dallas Police Department briefing this week, the ministry has trained five police officers to fly the drone with plans to add more.
The briefing showed that a public relations program was planned to explain the growing use of drones.
Individuals can buy and fly drones, but police need more extensive training and certification to use the device.
“There are many benefits to drones when used professionally and legally,” said Dell Carmen.
According to Landfield, Arlington police will train eight more police officers to fly the drone, making devices already available in each of the city’s four patrol departments available 24 hours a day. is.
“Ideally, there would be someone on either side of the town that could be used to support calling services on that side of the town,” he said.
A small basic drone model costs about $ 600 including control equipment. More sophisticated drones cost over $ 10,000.
Editor’s Note: Earlier versions of this story stated that the Dallas Police Department had 107 drone pilots. The Dallas Police Department has five drone pilots. NBC5 News regrets the error.