By now we are all pretty well familiar with things like the Predator drones used by the military for everything from surveillance of enemy troops to killing terrorists but what isn’t as well known is the fact that drones are becoming a favorite for law enforcement as well.
While drones being tested out by various local law enforcement agencies, or being used in places like the Mexico – US border, don’t come with the ability to carry a deadly payload there is talk about them being able to carry a non-lethal payload – sort of like pepper spray from the air.
Currently the drones, like the ShadowHawk that Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is spending $300,000 on, are primarily used for pursuits of suspects but there are reports that non-lethal type weapons like rubber bullets, tear gas, and even tasers.
While Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel says that the sheriff’s department is always open to new ways to use technology in fighting crime the opposite side of the coin is voiced by Kirsten Bokenkamp of the Houston ACLU that suggests that the same care and control when decided on levels of force to use don’t exist when using a drone.
According the the company that supplies the ShadowHawk, Vanguard Defense Industries, says that there has been no requests to date to include these types of non-lethal weapons on drones being ordered by police departments.