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Rise of the Machines: The Use of Drones in Public Safety

AWARE

With advancements in technology making drones smaller, lighter, and less expensive, a growing number of public safety officials see the opportunity to leverage drones for their work. Already, CBP operates eight Predator spy drones on the northern and southwestern U.S. borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. In at least two dozen cases, CBP has used the drones to assist local law enforcement. Drones can fly out of sight and watch a target for 20 hours nonstop, far longer than police helicopters or manned aircraft, making drones especially useful in manhunts, hostage situations, and large-scale events.