A Prospect brokers Insured, Coptrz, are joining up with the Police Force
In late spring a search-and-rescue team in Colorado used a drone to spot lost hikers in a pine forest, shaving hours off the time it would have taken to find the hikers using dogs, and thousands of dollars off the cost of doing so with a helicopter. In August police officers in Maine used a drone to snap 81 photos of the aftermath of a collision between a pickup truck and a blueberry lorry. The process took 14 minutes, instead of the hours officers said would usually have been required. Last month, police officers in Illinois used a drone to fly a mobile phone into the hands of a disgruntled man who shot at them when they tried to evict him from a foreclosed home. After hours of negotiations via the drone-delivered phone, they coaxed him into surrendering.
Despite such stories, many people are sceptical about the merits of law-enforcement drones. On September 28th Los Angeles’s Sherriff Civilian Oversight Commission, a body created a year ago by Los Angeles County officials to increase the accountability of its Sheriff’s Department, asked the department permanently to ground its drone, because of worries about privacy and safety. Such concerns have a basis in recent history. In 2012 the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) secretly tested an aerial surveillance programme over Compton, a deprived neighbourhood in Los Angeles—though with a small aeroplane, not a drone.