From India to Alaska: Drones Enhance Police Operations Across the Globe

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A review of recent police-drone news:

India

Illegal sand quarries are a major problem in some regions of India. Unregistered sand quarries rob local governments of tax revenue, leading police officials launch drones to stop the bandits.

The Karimnagar Police Commissionerate recently deployed an eye-in-sky flying camera to uncover an illegal sand dump cleverly hidden by haystacks.

“We have extended the eagle eye surveillance on illegal sand dumps and transportation. The high-resolution pictures taken by the drone are very effective in finding such illegal activities,” Commissioner of Police VB Kamalasan Reddy told Hans India, an area news source. The sand dump is worth about 70 truckloads, officials said – a significant catch in an industry that transports nearly 700 loads in a day.

“As the issue is entangled with the livelihood of many villagers, illegal sand quarrying is thriving in the region. The authorities, despite their best efforts, were unable to stop it totally,” a revenue official said in an interview.

Hans India noted the police drone were also able to “bring down the movements of hooligans who were having fun consuming liquor in public places.”

Alaska

Police in Alaska’s largest city hope to deploy a drone program amid concerns from some local officials.

The Anchorage Police Department presented a draft policy to the city assembly’s public-safety committee last week that would create a UAV program

“Search-and-rescue would be a primary,” Capt. Kevin Vandergriff said in an interview with public-radio KTOO.

“Evidence collection for major crimes and major crime scenes like fatality traffic accidents, for example. Also for tactical applications when we’re responding with a SWAT team for officer safety purposes. Those would be the three primary activities we’re interested in utilizing this technology for.”

The proposal also states drones will not be used for warrant-less searches.

However, some officials believe privacy abuses could still become an issue. “I think we want to strike that balance between the legitimate concerns of law enforcement and the potential for this technology, but also the real worries about privacy,” Assembly vice-chair Forest Dunbar told KTOO.

“I think we want to strike that balance between the legitimate concerns of law enforcement and the potential for this technology, but also the real worries about privacy.”

 



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