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Denver to deploy DRONES to respond to 911 calls
By Olivia Cook // May 31, 2024

Denver, Colorado's law enforcement is preparing to introduce aerial drones for specific circumstances instead of dispatching officers, as per an announcement from the city’s police department.

This innovative move is made possible through a $100,000 grant from the Denver Police Foundation, with plans to commence the program within six to twelve months.

The initiative was done after the city's Democrat-led government reduced the Denver Police Department's (DPD) budget by $8.4 million, forcing the department to opt to use drones as initial responders. These drones will evaluate incidents to determine whether a physical police presence is warranted.

DPD’s Strategic Initiatives Bureau Director Phil Gonshak clarified: "The DPD will still respond to any service call where direct physical intervention by a police officer is requested. However, in scenarios like a reported altercation at Colfax and Cherokee, if a drone survey reveals no disturbance or traffic issues, our officers will be redirected to other pressing calls."

Sgt. Jeremiah Gates, who oversees Arapahoe County’s drone unit, sees drones as an inevitable part of law enforcement's future, stating: "Drones are becoming integral to law enforcement, whether we embrace the idea or not."

Highlighting their practical use, Gates elaborated: "Using drones, I could investigate a reported suspicious vehicle remotely and ascertain whether it’s legitimately suspicious, thereby avoiding unnecessary interactions with officers and conserving resources." He also emphasized that drones could discern whether a reported weapon is not a firearm, potentially de-escalating volatile situations before officers approach suspects.

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The use of drones is playing a significant role in reshaping contemporary law enforcement practices, contributing to enhanced safety for both communities and police personnel.

As of July 27 last year, around 1,400 police departments across the U.S. have incorporated drones into their operations. This figure is anticipated to surge in the foreseeable future as drones become increasingly accessible and advanced in their capabilities, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Drones are used as first responders, for search and rescue operations, for the facilitation of rapid collection of evidence for accident and crime scene reconstruction and for extensively surveilling events with large numbers of attendees. (Related: SPY IN THE SKY: NYPD will use surveillance drones to monitor private parties this weekend.)

More commonly, drones are being used by police departments for reconnaissance in breach and clearance operations.

ACLU of Colorado raises concerns about potential abuse and misuse of drone technology

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are currently over 850,000 drones registered in the U.S. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are only about 660,000 police officers in the entire country. Despite the promising applications of drones in law enforcement, voices from civil liberties circles have raised apprehensions regarding privacy infringements and the risk of misuse.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado Staff Attorney Laura Moraff voiced concerns over the ramifications of widespread drone surveillance, especially in her state. She emphasized the potential impact on fundamental freedoms, expressing worries about the chilling effect of constant surveillance on activities such as speech, organizing and protesting.

Moraff also underscored the risk of disproportionate policing in Black communities, which often bear the brunt of numerous 911 calls. Highlighting the issue of racial bias in reporting, she cautioned against the indiscriminate deployment of drones in such areas, which could exacerbate over-policing.

She further noted that the normalization of drone surveillance could profoundly influence public behavior, as individuals may feel compelled to alter their actions and interactions under constant scrutiny.

Although law enforcement authorities assure responsible drone usage, the persisting concerns regarding potential abuse and the erosion of privacy rights underscore the need for vigilant oversight to prevent the establishment of a surveillance-oriented state.

Watch this video about Denver's drone initiative.

This video is from the Daily Videos channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Police department in Pennsylvania using drone tech to crack down on theft and other petty crimes.

NARCO-TERRORISM: Notorious Mexican cartel now using drones and chemical explosives.

NYPD has been stalking civilians with tracking robots, drones and GPS locators.

Sources include:






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