Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Drones and Law Enforcement

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Drones and Law Enforcement

Article excerpt

Drones and Law Enforcement By Laura La Bella. $34.45. 64 pp. Rosen Publishing Group. New York. 2017. ISBN: 9781508173434.


Originally built by the military, drones have now become useful in law enforcement because they can be outfitted with such tools as facial recognition software, infrared imaging, and conversation-monitoring microphones.

Ranging from the size of an insect to that of a small airplane, drones are operated by onboard computers or via remote control by crew members on the ground. Drones are especially useful when sending humans to a particular location that would be too difficult or risky. In the first law enforcement use of drones, a North Dakota cattle rancher was sentenced to three years in prison for terrorizing police.

Law enforcement can use drones for various purposes. The author describes their applications in hostage negotiation, bomb investigation, missing persons, criminal pursuit, drug interdiction, active shooting scenarios, crime scene analysis, and border protection with drones flying along the Canadian and Mexican borders searching for illegal crossings. Drones also help in counterterrorism efforts and can play a role in traffic control by monitoring drivers breaking traffic laws.

Drone technology can help protect the natural world and enforce environmental laws by, for example, curbing illegal fishing and hunting, overseeing logging practices, and monitoring animals on the endangered species list. …

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