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As a law enforcement professional, you need a wide range of drone for law enforcement tools to carry out your duties effectively. Besides firearms and communication devices, drones can also be a crucial part of your arsenal. Here we’ll list 15 ways the police use drones to elevate their law enforcement operations.

15 Drone Law Enforcement Ideas

Here are some of the best applications of drones in law enforcement.

1. Search and Rescue (SAR) Missions

Yellow helicopter near the mountains

The police most commonly use drones to perform SAR missions. The drones enable you to scan large sections more rapidly than some other technologies.

For instance, drones are much more convenient than traditional police helicopters. The expenses are lower since there’s no need to refuel the device. All you need is to charge it and conduct a remote search without bringing in heavy-duty equipment.

2. Traffic Management

Traffic in modern day city evening

Drones are invaluable in traffic flow and management. Superior to ground units, which may struggle to assess the reason for gridlocks, these airborne machines instantly evaluate the situation and determine a solution.

Plus, they can instruct you to adjust the green-red light ratio to streamline traffic flow. Some devices can even monitor car speeds and inform ground officers of violators.

3. Crash Reconstruction

Crash site of a plane

Most drones were initially used for car crash reconstruction. The reason is simple – these cutting-edge machines capture crashes faster than traditional methods. Furthermore, they can develop 3D models you can later access for in-depth review.

Another reason the police rely on drones in crash reconstruction is to help prevent future accidents. They can discover the cause of the original incident to improve the safety of all motorists.

4. Protest Management

Protesters holding signs

Suppose there’s a protest scheduled next week in your area. Managing the masses with only ground units is difficult and can increase safety risks. You need something that offers a clear overview of everyone involved.

That’s where drones come in. These airborne gadgets are commonly used to oversee crowds, allowing officers to optimize situational awareness. Additionally, they eliminate the need to recruit additional staff or helicopters, reducing the cost associated with protest surveillance.

5. Crime Scene Reconstruction

Police officers investigating the crime scene

Another great way to use drones in policing is to perform crime scene reconstructions. You can deploy the machines to create aerial maps, images, and collect evidence. All of which can be crucial intelligence during your tactical operations and crime scene analysis.

6. Integration with Thermal Imagery

Global heatmap

Ground thermal cameras are handy, but you can make them even more effective by pairing them up with drones. This way, the technologies can survey areas while generating thermal feeds, offering real-time assistance for ground operators. Several missions can benefit from this application, such as night-time surveillance and SAR scenarios.

7. City Mapping

Aerial view of a city with clouds

Cities often receive timely storm warnings, giving authorities plenty of time to prepare the population for flooding and other hazards. To do so, the police generally need to map the area to identify regions that will be more affected than others. Helicopters are sometimes too expensive, which is why drones are commonly used for this purpose.

These machines are perfect for city mapping because they’re easy to operate. You can control them from afar, meaning you don’t have to expose yourself to high winds or other tricky conditions. Once your drones scan the city, you know which zones you should focus on to prevent disasters.

8. Pre-tactical Recon

base camp with ship in the dock

Pre-tactical drone deployment is perfect for scouring dangerous places before sending ground forces. For example, you can employ a drone to provide critical information about buildings before raiding them. It offers key intelligence about the layout and any inhabitants.

In addition, you can also incorporate drones as the mission unfolds. By monitoring ground units from the sky, you provide your commander with a bird’s eye view of the scene, giving them a tactical advantage.

This can be the difference-maker in several situations. A suspect might have fled the scene through a window or backdoor. They might have also changed and discarded their weapons so that nobody would recognize them. A drone lets you stay locked in on criminals to avoid mistaking them for civilians. It also reveals the whereabouts of the fugitive, enabling you to apprehend them before they commit more crimes.

9. Event Management

Gate and police officers on standby

The Super Bowl, cycling competitions, and spring break parties are large events. They draw huge crowds, which can be a safety risk if something goes wrong. Wading through individuals is impractical because it takes too long.

Drones solve this problem. They offer an aerial view of the event, enabling you to track people’s movements in real time. You can also determine which ground units need backup to deal with civil unrest before it escalates.

Drone scanning works great for incident prevention too. It can reveal suspicious behavior, allowing the police to contain it and make any necessary arrests.

10. SWAT Missions

A group of swat
Group of full armed swat special forces army soldiers in combat camouflage uniform standing in column line. Firearm shooting and tactical training

Police work is dangerous, but few missions are as precarious as SWAT operations. They generally require you to track down and apprehend an armed individual with a history of violent behavior. Starting the task without zeroing in on the criminal’s location is risky, which is why you should add drones.

By providing continuous overwatch of the target, you can see the area inside and outside the building. It tells you if there are any confined areas where you can trap the criminal instead of moving forward blindly. Some law enforcement agencies can even fly drones over and around houses during critical missions, like hazmat incidents and tactical operations.

11. Supporting Fire Departments

Aerial footage of firefighters extinguishing a fire

Most fire departments have drones of their own. Nevertheless, the expense might be too high for units in small towns. They sometimes ask police departments for help, as they have access to state-of-the-art drones.

By allowing firefighters to deploy drones, police officers speed up many sensitive missions:

  • Locating the fire
  • Identifying trapped people or victims
  • Allowing firefighters to direct their resources appropriately

Operators can combine drones with thermal imaging cameras to discover fire hotspots. It saves them a lot of time, which is crucial for minimizing casualties.

12. Patrol-guided Deployment

Team of special action force

In a patrol-guided drone deployment, you place your drones in your police car trunks. This way, you can quickly utilize them and provide officers with greater situational awareness. It helps them locate various hazards, such as weapons and suspects. You can also use this model to increase safety and support during your K9 missions.

13. Locating Illegal Drones

White drone flying with sun on the background

In most cases, drones must be registered for legal use (except for recreational devices). However, malicious actors can easily get their hands on them and use them to commit crimes. They’re commonly found in bank robberies and other heists.

The onus is on police departments to prevent the illegal use of drones. What better way to do so than to use a drone of your own? The machine can scan areas for these devices. After revealing a location, you can send ground forces to get to the bottom of the operation and seize any illegal gadgets.

14. Forensic Investigation

Cops working in a crime scene

Evidence can be found practically anywhere. You can locate it yourself if it’s near the crime scene, but what if it’s scattered? You use drones to comb the area.

These advanced devices can access rooftops safely, so you don’t have to climb a ladder or parachute down from a helicopter. They ensure a comprehensive investigation without exposing you to major risks.

15. Hostage Rescue

Squad of armed swat police officers rescue a female hostage

Hostage situations are particularly complex. Getting the upper hand is essential, and one of the ways to do so is to rely on drones.

The police use drones by placing them in strategic locations. They let them see through windows and gather information about the targets’ and hostages’ whereabouts. Moreover, it tells officers where to enter to increase safety.

Top 7 Police Drones on the Market

The only way you can perform the above operations effectively is to have a dependable police drone. Here are the top 7 options.

1. CW-15D


This battery-operated drone is a great choice from a security and surveillance standpoint. It has a longer range than quadcopters and similar solutions. It’s also faster and provides higher energy efficiency.

Another impressive feature of this machine is the flight time. You can use it for three hours on a single charge, which should be enough for most surveillance missions. The cruising speed stands at approximately 37 miles per hour, and the transmission range is about 31 miles. As a result, you can easily use the gadget to cover vast, hard-to-reach zones without recruiting extra staff.

2. Brinc Lemur S

Brinc Lemur S

The Brinc Lemur S drone is specifically designed for law enforcement. There’s an array of features to make your missions safer and more efficient.

First, it only takes 45 seconds to deploy the machine. Coupled with more than half an hour of flight time and 10 hours of perch time, it makes all the difference in SAR and hostage rescue operations.

The construction is another highlight. This robust model can break through glass, drop payloads, navigate dark environments, and open doors.

Plus, there’s no need to panic if the device crashes. It flips over and assumes the proper position using Turtle Mode.

3. DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced

DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced

This drone is a great solution for police officers who need a cost-effective yet reliable machine. It features a lightweight, foldable design that allows for smooth transportation in bags or trunks. It has similar specifications as its predecessor, but there are a few additions for law enforcement operations. For example, it comes with thermal imaging technology, spotlights, speakers, and beacons.

4. DJI Matrice 300 RTK

DJI Matrice 300 RTK

If you’re looking for a user-friendly yet powerful drone, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK is an excellent pick. This commercial machine provides nearly an hour of flight time and can transport payloads of up to 5 pounds. It also has AI capabilities, multidirectional positioning and sensing, and a transmission range of approximately 10 miles.

In addition, the drone comes with Smart Track functionality. The feature lets you find and track moving targets, such as suspects in a vehicle or on foot.

5. Sky Hero Loki 2

Sky Hero Loki 2

This is a terrific defensive drone specifically designed for short-range recon in dark and inaccessible environments. It has an advanced LED mechanism that sends intelligence to the user, even in pitch darkness. Whether you need 3D positioning or other relevant data, you’ll receive it in real-time from this device.

Indoor operation is a strong suit of this gadget. It can bounce off ceilings and walls while flying into crawl spaces and attics. There’s also turtle mode to flip the machine over if it’s on its back.

6. Autel Evo II Dual R

Autel Evo II Dual R

Lightweight yet robust drones, like the Autel EVO II Dual R, are always welcome. At just over 2.62 pounds, it’s one of the lightest and most compact gadgets out there.

The manufacturer equipped several high-end features in a small package. It captures optical 8K images and has 4X zoom, enabling you to catch the tiniest details and monitor events from a safe distance. It also comes with a high-resolution thermal camera.

7. Parrot Anafi USA

A Parrot Anafi USA drone for law enforcement

The final entry on our list brings a lot to the table. It’s a versatile and powerful drone with a compact design, which allows for effortless setup and transport. This device comes with three cameras, including a wide-angle unit for 4K recordings, a 2X zoom camera, and a thermal image camera.

Moreover, you won’t have to worry about data loss when using this drone. It has sophisticated security and data encryption solutions to protect sensitive information on the built-in SD card. The top-rated AES-XTS algorithm safeguards against data leaks if the machine ends up in the wrong hands.

Talk with a Tech Expert

Your drone plays a pivotal role in the success of your police missions. Only the finest machines should be in your collection, and Energy Electronics is here to help you find suitable gadgets.

Contact our tech professionals today. Upon discussing your needs, they’ll help you determine the right drone for your operations and budget.