If you click a link on this page and make a purchase we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
To stay ahead of the most notorious criminals, law enforcement units are constantly coming up with new ideas and technology to assist them during the logistic process.
Some of the traditional tools, such as sniffing dogs, thermal image technology, and upgraded vehicles, can only go so far.
This is why in the last few years, an increasing number of law enforcement units around the world have started implementing drone technology as well.
Drones can provide a massive amount of benefits for police officers, they can be used for traffic control, advanced surveillance, investigating accidents, monitoring hard-to-reach areas, mapping out crime scenes, and quickly responding to incidents.
However, just picking out a random drone for law enforcement won’t cut it – there are models that are much more suitable for police operations than others.
In this guide, we are going to go over some of the best drones for law enforcement and walk you through the process of using them.
How Can Drones Help Law Enforcement and Police Departments?
As we said, drones provide police officers with a wide range of utilities and ultimately assist them in their fight against crime.
Here is a list of some of the main benefits drones bring to the table:
- Photographing crime scenes
- Investigating rural areas
- Controlling traffic
- Searching for missing individuals
- Rescue missions
Aside from all this, drones are also much more cost-efficient compared to using helicopters and police boats.
Top Drones for Law Enforcement | Best Police Drone Fleet
When picking out the best drones for law enforcement, there are a number of different features that have to be taken into consideration.
From flight time, speed, and camera quality to advanced features, every little detail counts.
Below, you will find a detailed review of some of the top drones for law enforcement that most units generally recommend.
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
The second model that’s worth considering is the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced.
With a wide range of thermal sensors, a 48 MP camera, and a 10 km HD transmission range, this model has some of the best visual capacities.
Coming in second to the Matrice 300, the Mavic 2 Enterprise is one of the fastest drones to deploy for search and rescue missions. Plus, with its high-quality camera and an astonishing 32x zoom feature, it can also prove very helpful in surveillance and crowd monitoring.
There are plenty of law enforcement units around the world that use the DJI Mavic 2 EA due to its ability to provide insight into even the most problematic situations through its bird-eye view monitoring.
Additionally, it is also one of the most versatile models when it comes to public safety utility.
DJI Mavic 3
The DJI Mavic 3 is known to be one of the most versatile drones in the industry, which doesn’t make it surprising that it can also be used by law enforcement units.
This model has a great dual-camera system – the first (main) camera is a 24mm EFL, while the second one brings robust hybrid zoom features to the table.
The main camera can obtain some extremely sharp images due to the 20 MP, and it even integrates exposure and aperture options alongside an adjustable ISO.
The Mavic 3 is also pretty impressive when it comes to battery life, and it can withstand a 45-minute flight. This can come in handy when police officers use the drone for longer operations.
DJI Matrice 300 RTK
The DJI Matrice 300 RTK is hands-down one of the best and most popular drones among law enforcement around the world.
It can withstand around 55 minutes of flight time and can carry a capacity of 2.5 kg, making it the perfect choice for scouting operations and equipment transport.
Additionally, the Matrice 300 RTK also comes with some robust AI features, six-directional sensing, and a video transmission range that extends to 15km. When it comes to emergency situations, there aren’t many drones that can compare to their first-responder capabilities.
However, the two most important features for law enforcement are the Smart Track and Pinpoint options.
The Pinpoint feature allows policemen to quickly mark specific objects and calculate their coordinates, which can be immensely useful for rescue operations and searching for missing individuals.
For the Smart Track feature, this option aids police officers in identifying suspicious moving objects. In cases where there is a criminal making a getaway in a car, officers can use the Smart Track option to follow them.
DJI Matrice 200 V2
The DJI Matrice 200 V2 is often called the ‘workhorse’ of law enforcement drone technology.
This drone features a 38-minute flight time and a dual battery system, and it can support up to 8 km of video transmission range.
One of the most notable features of the DJI Matrice 200 V2 is the Discreet Mode option. All the LED navigation lights will automatically be disabled by turning on the Discreet Mode, making the drone immensely useful for stealth operations.
Also, this model does a great job with data transmission security. Due to the AES 256 encryption, intercepting data from the drone is practically impossible. There is also an advanced obstacle avoidance and anti-collision system featured.
Another thing that law enforcement officers find useful is the quality zoom features that allow them to recognize potential targets rather quickly.
Lastly, since the Matrice 200 V2 can carry a payload of 1.3 kg, it can be used to transport food and medical supply in certain life-saving missions.
LEMUR by BRINC Drones
Unlike other drones on our list that were originally created for commercial purposes, the LEMUR model was specifically designed for law enforcement units.
This robust drone was created by BRINC drones, an American engineering company founded in Las Vegas. The drone team that designed the LEMUR works very closely with infamous aerospace organizations like NASA, Tesla, and FLIR, which adds to its credibility.
During the creation process of the LEMUR model, BRINC also collaborated with the SWAT team of the Las Vegas police department.
LEMUR can fly for around 30 minutes and can reach a maximum speed of 80 km/h. It also comes with a glass breaker device that allows it to easily break into secured residential buildings. Officers can take advantage of this feature in case of a burning building or in hostile scout areas.
Some of its other notable features include a two-way communication system, night vision, FPV functionality, and an extremely sophisticated design.
Lastly, there is also a Lidar and autonomy option that can help the pilot maintain control in complex environments.
Autel Evo II Dual
With a 37-minute flight time, 8K video capture, radiometric thermal image feature, and omnidirectional obstacle avoidance, the Autel Evo II Dual is a worthy contender when it comes to the best drones for law enforcement.
This model is a great choice for conducting public safety operations since it can carry a payload of 2.62 pounds and is extremely compact.
You can use its advanced 8k resolution to obtain incredible optical imagery but also examine more granular details due to the 4x zoom capability.
Additionally, the impressive radiometric thermal camera provides officers with the ability to acquire the best possible thermal resolution when they need to record temperature values for mission planning.
However, aside from all these great features, one of the things that set the Autel Evo apart from other drones is the fact that it doesn’t include geofencing.
This means that officers don’t have to go through any firmware updates in cases where time is of the essence. They can quickly fly it out and begin with an operation.
How Can Drones Help Law Enforcement?
We already mentioned some of the utilities that drones bring to the table, but let’s try to get a bit more granular with the details.
Here is exactly how drones can help law enforcement.
⚡️ Traffic Control
In case there is an ongoing problem with traffic during rush hour, the police can use drones to manage the traffic efficiently.
This is because drones provide an overhead perspective that allows units to quickly analyze the situation and solve the issue.
Monitoring suspicious people or events is one of the key tasks in any law enforcement agency. While this activity used to be done through ground units, most agencies now use drones for surveillance.
Drones can provide operators with a bird-eye perspective over larger scenes and easily identify suspicious activities or endangered individuals.
For this activity, it’s best to pick drones that have high-quality zoom features.
⚡️ Rescue Missions
Drones can be immensely helpful in rescue missions and for locating missing persons. For example, there is a high percentage of hikers that get lost in the woods and elderly people who wander off from their homes each year.
In situations like this, locating people can be done a whole lot faster by using drone technology, especially when there is a larger area to cover.
⚡️ Public Services
Law enforcement units can use drones to help out other public services.
For example, they can be of great assistance to the fire department. Officers can use drone technology to locate a fire, identify victims, and ultimately help the firefighters to allocate their resources accordingly.
The time when the police relied on helicopters to track down criminals is long gone.
With drones, the police can easily chase down criminals that are on the run, and they can do it a lot quieter.
In situations like this, it’s important to have ‘eyes’ in the sky and be able to zoom in on the criminals to see whether they are holding any weapons.
⚡️ Officer Safety
Drones have proven to be immensely helpful in risky situations where officer safety is on the line.
By using this technology, operators can provide officers with important information regarding the shooter’s whereabouts and the exact weapons they are using.
Monitoring potential suspects has never been easier for law enforcement.
Using drones to scout larger areas and analyze specific scenes can quickly provide officers with information regarding any suspicious activity that may be occurring.
⚡️ Reporting and Analysis
Lastly, drone technology can be incorporated when there is a crime scene that needs to be reconstructed or in analyzing traffic crashes.
Combined with advanced mapping software, law enforcement logistic teams will be able to quickly pinpoint the issues and establish the events that led to a crime or accident.
Police forces do not require any special permission to fly drones or use them during operations. But, they do have to comply with FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations.
If the law enforcement agency isn’t based in the US, it could fall under some other types of regulation and follow different sets of rules.
Police use drones in a variety of different ways. This includes surveillance, traffic management, monitoring, tracking criminals, search and rescue missions, mapping out crime scenes, and much more.
Depending on the country, law enforcement agencies typically have different preferences when it comes to drone technology.
In this guide, we have mentioned some of the most popular models they use, with the number one spot going to the DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
For US law enforcement, the most commonly used drones are DSLRPros. This company specializes in creating drones strictly for law enforcement purposes.
Yes, drones are frequently used by law enforcement all over the world.
While not all agencies use drone technology, the number is increasing year after year.
SWAT teams have different preferences compared to law enforcement when it comes to drone technology.
The two most common models that SWAT teams use are the Impossible Aerospace (US-1) drone, which has an extremely long flight time, while the other is the BRINC LEMUR.
We already mentioned the LEMUR model in our list – this drone was specifically designed for SWAT teams since the company collaborated with SWAT officers during the creation process.
Spotting police drones isn’t very simple, especially if you don’t have much knowledge about overall drone technology.
One of the main indicators can be light. Police drones usually include bright lights that can easily be detected in the dark.
However, just because you see a drone with bright lights, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a police drone. You should also consider other factors, such as the drone’s shape and sound.
If you still can’t tell whether it is a police drone or not, you can always call up your local police station and ask them.
Since not all law enforcement use the same drones in their agencies, it’s impossible to answer with a definite number.
However, an average police drone speed would probably be somewhere around 50 mph.
Depends on the thief.
Of course, not all thieves incorporate or even know how to use drones, but there are those who are experienced pilots and use their drones to scout potential victims’ homes.
The flight time of a police drone depends on the batteries that are being used. In most cases, law enforcement uses drones that feature rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Of course, depending on the model, the flight time per charge can vary a lot.
Most police drones can withstand a 30-minute flight time, while there are some robust models that can stay up for up to an hour. These models are used for longer scouting and tracking operations.
The answer to this question depends on the budget of the particular law enforcement agency.
In most cases, police drones cost around $8,000+. The drones in our list all fall into this price group, with the most expensive one being the LEMUR – it costs around $11,000.
Law enforcement agencies typically aim to purchase drones that come with silent features. This can be extremely important in stealth operations, where it’s crucial for the suspects to not notice any drone activity in the area.
With that said, drone technology is still developing, so even in extremely quiet environments, there is a chance for a silent drone to be heard and detected.
Heat sensors are an extremely important feature that law enforcement agencies need in their drones. Therefore, most agencies will tend to invest in drones that have thermal imaging features.