The Police Foundation, a non-profit organization for policing across the United States, recently released a new infographic for law enforcement agencies seeking to establish a program for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The infographic, “UAS and Public Safety” accessible here, includes an overview of operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations for law enforcement agencies interested in implementing UAS for public safety purposes. It also highlights key recommendations for law enforcement agencies related to community engagement before launching UAS to the skies. President of the Police Foundation, Jim Bueermann, said, “UAS technologies provide law enforcement agencies with unique capabilities for rapid, safe, economical and effective responses to a wide variety of public safety tactical challenges. Harnessing these capabilities requires not only the skills to operate the technology, but the input and understanding of the community and a pledge to operate the technology in a transparent manner. Taking the time to engage the community, address concerns and gain input from the community is exactly what community policing is all about.”

The infographic informs law enforcement agencies that to harness UAS capabilities for public safety, they must have the skills to operate the technology, comply with the law, get community understanding and support for UAS use, and operate UAS transparently. The infographic also offers up basic definition and explanations of common terminology and different types of unmanned aircraft, as well as types of UAS used by law enforcement. The infographic also sets forth some of the reasons why law enforcement is using UAS—low cost, portability and rapid deployment, and a plethora of public safety and operational applications. Check out the infographic for more details and information.