Law Enforcement Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems


The Justice Technology Information Center recently released two new reports related to the ways in which law enforcement agencies use UAS to fulfill their missions.

The Testing of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Law Enforcement Use in Indoor Tactical Missions summarizes testing done by three law enforcement agencies on using small unmanned aircraft systems for indoor tactical missions. Information on the effects and potential limitations imposed by maneuvering in tight, confined spaces and in environments where GPS, video and command/control coverage may or may not be ideal could help agencies considering use of UAS indoors. The report summarizes general testing observations and findings for each agency.

Selection and Implementation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology for Law Enforcement highlights some basic insights/lessons learned from focus group members on implementing a UAS program and choosing and operating UAS technology. As UAS technology continues to evolve, identifying and implementing the best UAS technology to meet the particular needs of law enforcement can be challenging. In late 2017, a National Institute of Justice law enforcement focus group on UAS met to discuss and exchange information on their agencies’ use or desired use of UAS, lessons learned by agencies with established UAS programs, and trends and issues surrounding the technology.

As both of these reports are considered law enforcement-sensitive, please send an E-mail to from a legitimate government agency/law enforcement agency E-mail address (no Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) to receive copies.