Enhancing Public Safety

How do Unmanned Systems enhance public safety?

Each year thousands of first responders and military personnel are injured in the line of duty. More than 18,000 domestic law enforcement agencies exist in the U.S. and thousands more abroad, including public safety agencies. Unmanned systems can and will continue to make these jobs safer, more effective and more efficient. The technology minimizes the risks these first responders and military personnel face, while enhancing situational awareness by:

              NBC Story on UAS Helping First Responders:

• Navigating through areas too dangerous for people

• Helping firefighters survey fires, plan escape routes and detect hot spots

• Monitoring borders and detecting threats

• Detecting explosives and detonating bombs

• Providing route clearance for convoys

• Providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance

• Reaching dangerous and inaccessible locations


A number of police, transportation and emergency departments across the United States utilized unmanned systems in training and real-life scenarios. These include:

• Arlington County Police Department (Texas)

CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)

• Georgia Tech Police Department (Georgia)

• Federal Bureau of Investigation

• Hays County Office of Emergency Services (Texas)

• Houston Police Department (Texas)

• Miami-Dade Police Department (Florida)

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (Colorado)

• Montgomery County (Texas)

• North Little Rock Police Department (Arkansas)

• Ogden Police Department (Utah)

• Seattle Police Department (Washington)

• Virginia Tech Police Department (Virginia)

• Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas)

• Washington State Department of Transportation (Washington)

Police departments with aviation units spent an estimated $300 million on aircraft purchases, maintenance and fuel. In fact, operating manned police helicopters can cost between $200 and $400 per hour, while operating an unmanned aircraft costs on average $25 to $75 per hour. Unmanned systems provide more cost-effective solutions for law enforcement. The purchase price of a UAS is also significantly less than a manned aircraft. A small UAS can cost less than $50,000, which is about the price of a patrol car with standard police gear.