The police in Salisbury, Massachusetts are contemplating the idea of introducing the use of drones in their police force. A specially designed drone will be flown over the Beach Road Police Station as part of a demo. If the demo is successful, the police department intends to explore ways in which drones can be used to increase public security. A company based in Rhode Island is helping with the demonstration. Company officials visited the police station and pitched the idea of using drones for rescue operations, inspecting packages, and even getting data about how fast the beach is eroding. Police Chief Thomas Fowler believes that such a program would be convenient but not entirely necessary.
Detective Kieth Forget is the man in the department who is pushing for the use of drone technology for police operations. He attended a training session that was designed to help police use drones. Forget found the use of drone technology to be a novel idea and shared the idea by his Chief who agreed to give it a try.
Forget believes that the drones can be used for much more than police operations. If the program is implemented properly, the drones can also be used to help with emergency situations and even building inspections. Representatives from the departments will also be taking part in the demonstration which will be their first experiment with drone technology.
UAV Look is a local company which specializes in drone photography. The company president, Ethan Cohen, stated that he can see how drone technology would be useful for law enforcement. He added that it can be a very effective tool for them as long as they use it properly. An increasing number of agencies are deploying drone technology and he does not see why this community should be left out.
The main issue is the privacy concerns raised by local residents. They don’t want to risk letting the police have an easy way to spy on them and disrupt their lives. They fear that they will suffer from similar disruptions caused by drones in London that resulted in entire airports being shut down. Cohen believes that their privacy concerns are well founded, but they will not be an issue if the police stick to the laws governing drone use.
According to Forget and Fowler, drones could be lifesavers in a beach community like Salisbury. Using drones to save surfers that have been swept away by currents is more than enough of a reason to adopt the program. They can think of many other applications for drone technology in their town but they will have to wait before a proper program is in place. As of now, they are looking into the idea and awaiting the demonstration to see how it goes.