Drone Use Expanding in Public Safety Agencies
A new study shows the number of law enforcement agencies using drones is continuing to soar.
The Center for the Study of the Drone at New York's Bard College says the number of law enforcement agencies with drones has more than doubled since the end of 2016.
It estimates there are more than 900 state and local police, sheriff, fire and emergency agencies with drones.
Between 2009 and 2015, about 150 agencies started drone programs, but in 2016, more than 250 started drone programs in that one year alone. Since then, growth has continued as 334 agencies started programs in 2017 and already at least 120 agencies have acquired drones in 2018.
Texas has the most public safety agencies with drones — 67, followed by followed by California with 58 and Wisconsin with 56. In addition to widespread municipal use, the report says 28 states also have at least one statewide public safety agency that is using drones.
Cook County, Illinois, home of Chicago, is the county with the most agencies using drones, with 11.