Drone technology has developed significantly in recent years, with many organizations starting to use or look into using drones in their operations. This includes some police departments. When police start using a new technology in their law enforcement efforts, concerns and issues can come up regarding various aspects of how police use the technology.
When it comes to police use of drones, among the issues that have come up are issues regarding what police drones should be allowed to carry and whether such drones should be capable of exhibiting force.
One state, Connecticut, is considering a bill regarding weapons on police drones. The bill would prohibit the general public from arming drones, but would allow police to have armed drones. Under the bill, police drones in the state would be allowed to be armed with deadly weapons. Under the bill, rules would have to be established on how armed police drones would be used and training would be required for officer use of such drones.
Currently, no state expressly authorizes police to have drones armed with deadly weapons. One state, North Dakota, allows police drones to be armed with “less lethal” weapons.
On the other side of things, there are a handful of states that prohibit armed police drones or any type of armed drone. Wisconsin is one the states that ban any type of drone from having weapons.
So, as one can see, there is still a lot of development occurring and variation among the laws of states regarding the issue of armed police drones. One wonders what the future will see when it comes to this issue.
Another set of concerns that come up in relation to police drones are concerns regarding privacy. As drone technology continues to develop, the types and level of surveillance police drones could be capable of could grow significantly. So, new issues could regularly arise regarding what sorts of rules and protections should be put in place to ensure police use of drones doesn’t violate people’s privacy and constitutional rights.
Issues over whether police use of a new technology, such as drone technology, was properly respectful of a suspect’s rights are among issues the can be significant ones in criminal cases.
Source: The Humboldt Beacon, “Bill would allow Connecticut police to put weapons on drones,” Dave Collins, March 30, 2017