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The progress in drone technology has taken them off the toy shelf, and onto the crime scene.
“This drone is less than $500 and something you can go pick up at a big box store,” said Matt Sloane CEO of Skyfire Consulting.
“Having the ability to have drones go into places where you don’t put an officer at risk or you don’t put the general public at risk, that to me is job number one,” said Michael Briant Chief Security Officer at Skyfire.
A leader in law enforcement drone training is Atlanta-based SkyFire Consulting is a leader in law enforcement drone training.
“It’s definitely a very specific skill set and having both the knowledge of how to fly the drone as well as the tactical knowledge,” said Matt.
It’s technology recently used by the Atlanta Police Department in taking down an accused murderer. CBS46’s Jamie Kennedy had to find out exactly how it feels being approached by the Terminator-like machine.
“I’m going to take on the role of a suspect and we’re going to hide out here and wait for the cops,” said Jamie as the drone inched closer. “The sound is even unnerving. Oh lights turned on.”
“Show me your hands, show me your hands,” shouted Michael assuming the role of an officer in the simulation.
“Those lights are intense,” said Jamie. “You hear the propellers going, you feel the wind come up and it’s just such an unsettling sound.”
“It’s meant to be disorienting with the bright lights and the loud noise. We don’t want it to be quiet we want it to be disorienting for you,” explained Matt on how the technology is able to handle situations with volatile criminals.
Around 2,000 first responder departments, out of 40,000 nationwide, utilize drones. More departments are joining daily, so expect to see a lot more suspects coming face to face with drones.
Former Supervising Special Agent for the FBI’s drone program, Michael Rogers, is now part of the Skyfire team. He said law enforcement agencies are constantly finding new ways to utilizes the drones, explaining they are even useful to drive away dogs at residences, once again meaning officers are out of harms way.
As far as weaponizing the drones, well that’s just not going to happen. The FAA outlaws it, however there is an exception for the military which has outfitted drones with weapons.