Police Drones Are Already Here

So everyone noticed when Congress told the FAA to get American airspace ready for regular drone flights, this move prompted a general Internet freakout about privacy concerns. No one likes the thought of being watched by the very drones that spy on suspected insurgents on Middle Eastern battlefields. Well, U.S. police departments are already gearing up to deploy UAV in American cities.

The video below shows the Seattle Police Department’s new Draganflyer UAV. The kite-sized micro chopper weighs three pounds and can stay aloft for about 20 minutes. As a Seattle PD officer explains in the video, it’s not allowed to fly above 400 feet and has to be operated from a SPD vehicle. Just wait, though, law enforcement agencies accross the country will soon have bigger drones capable of conducting serious suveillance. Heck, a much bigger Shadowhawk drone-chopper belonging to the Montgomery County,Texas, Sheriff’s Office¬†recently crashed into a SWAT truck belonging to said office.

Click through the jump to watch a video of Seattle’s finest’s latest toy.

Via sUAS News.

  • Cunninglinguine

    Huzzah, target practice!

    Fuck da police.

  • Lance

    Well there goes the 4th amendment. Big Brother is here to watch you your wife and family do every thing and they impose what they want you to do. Sad day George Washington is rolling over in his grave.

  • Morty

    Still like my Idea of mounting guns on these things

  • Diane Alden

    It is SO over with .. the militarization of the police and turning the military into police will end badly … for us.

  • Zeyn

    if they use them like they already use choppers i don’t mind, but if they start using them to spy over suspects or normal civilians then its a different story…

    • Riles

      Agreed. No need to freak out about this… yet

    • TMB

      This little thing could be very useful during a stakeout or a SWAT raid (where probably cause and warrants are already taken care of). If you start seeing IR cameras mounted on their helicopters or longer flight duration UAVs, then start to worry.

    • CoCowboy692000

      Remember what they say about power and corruption… don’t ever forget it…

      Once you give up a right or a freedom, YOU NEVER GET IT BACK… EVER

  • AlC

    Just how far are we going to permit the police to go in “protecting” us ?

  • Ezra Shabot

    Land of the free indeed…

  • SSG Joseph G VanDyck

    The TSA does not instill fear in me…they are mostly overweight out of shape individuals or they aren’t even from the US…now if you want fear, go to Germany or Israel…they scare the sh*t outta me, and thats hard to do…

  • SSG Joseph G VanDyck

    This is all well and good, but I believe it would be target practice for sure. Now when are law enforcement gonna start using the BATS/HIIDE system here in the US? The civilian law enforcement rep we had on our team in Iraq in 2006/2007 was wondering the same thing also.

  • DhuntAUS

    Didn’t they use a UAV in England not so long ago to catch a baddy ? I like the idea but there is a line. This would never even get of the ground in AUS.

  • Misnomer

    “That awkward moment when you leave the bathroom door open and see a drone taking a picture of you outside the window”

  • Andrew

    I think some of you are a little too crazy for your own good, what police departments have you experienced that actually want to waste time or money spying on citizens with no actual background for the espionage? I hate to break it to you, but most metropolitan police helicopters already carry surveillance gear like FLIR, this is just a much cheaper-to-operate form of that.

    You guys act like you live in Detroit during Robocop II

  • Thunder350

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety
    -Benjamin Franklin

  • Thunder350

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety
    -Benjamin Franklin

    Welcome to our new police state, makes you wonder about who the true puppet master is.

  • brok3n

    ignore first line, meant for somebody else

  • Colt

    Damn congress not seeing this being a liablity. If there a special need to find a fugitive thats one thing (set hounds out) but general surveillance on anyone is another. Isn’t this running into ease dropping on people? Old Blue Thunder movie back in ’80s maybe been overblown, (but used then available technologies) now were going see it in action on drones. Police State almost exactly whats going to happen when drones enter every day use by the police.

  • Tran

    Can someone explain in detail on how this can be a bad thing? In my honest opinion, I dont think its so bad. Whats the difference from having drones flying over our heads compare to wasting officers patroling the street, or placing security cameras on every corner of the street? I think everyone here is a bit paranoid. I would appreciate a detailed explaination on this paranoia.

  • STemplar

    “The Terrorists Can Never Win.”

    The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters.

    Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay.”

    You folks that freak out over a simple cost effective tool for law enforcement are so over the top absurd.

  • robertro2

    when there is a mid air mishap can you sue the city,remember the helicopter the summer of 2011 in NYC going up and crashed into a small plane and killed them,these small drones can not see 360 like pilots can and that helicopter pilot with the top of his craft covered could not look up……

  • Riceball

    I don’t think we have much to worry really, if these drones start to get too advanced to the point where they don’t need a human pilot controlling them then the police unions will be all up in arms over it since that would mean fewer cops would be needed and fewer cops means weaker unions.

  • jumper

    Just an innocent little tool for some warrentless surveilance… nothing to worry about.

  • nic

    they can use infared,and know exactly every more u make, its not a uav it is a flying computer. It remenbers everthing.

  • Darkness

    You idiots. The police have been flying HELICOPTERS in the air for decades. They have strict rules about what they can do with things they observe while flying. Do you fools really expect the police will be legally allowed to spy on random citizens smoking joints in their living room and be able to use that in court? Well if you do then get off the internet, because you don’t know a damn thing about the law, or about how the police do their business. Half of you pretend to be gangsters, and the other half pretend your some kind of freedom fighter militia separatists. You make me sick.

  • William C.

    Man, where people this crazy when helicopters first entered police use?

    I’ll get concerned when they fit a GPMG to them or start flying manhacks.

  • LOL@Conspiracies

    When people can’t control themselves or think for themselves, the government has to pull the strings. Don’t blame the government, blame yourselves.

  • H3NDR1CK

    What we need is an alien invasion. In order to grasp our fragility in this said universe we need to be reminded that it can all change in an instant and that we are all truly fragile. I never post on these subjects but this is the tipping point. Once we have to come together not as a nation or alliance but as MANKIND in a whole then we can get over our petty differences. Until this happens we will be forever enslaved.

  • CoCowboy692000

    I tried to reply to you on the previous page twice, however, it wouldn’t post. So I am trying to repost here. I agree blight and while your comment is true, Obama went one step to far on New Years when he signed these bills and they violate the Constitution.

    The truth is, the 30,000 drones could be anything from the miniatures we saw playing that tune, to these on this page, to the ones in Afghanistan sporting missles. I do know, they intend to use the one, ummm… ah yes, the MQ-9 Reaper – but that ones only going to be used to find LOST CATTLE…. SKEEE—UZE ME – I HAVE TO CHUCKLE FOR 20 MINUTES…. hard to believe I had to repeat that…

    And… There were some other nasty ones I read about too… And how long before they introduce “Constellation Swarm Tech” to the homeland which is fully developed now? Those have 3 100 lb bombs each and can stay airborn for days! Just exactly what do they need with any of this hardware over the homeland?

    NOTHING! – Unless, they intend to assault American’s of course… which of course, if they were doing that, then we’ve got to worery about the DETA Darts AND just one final thought – WHY would this Drone Program NEED to be done **TOP SECRET** THROUGH THE FAA??? JMO

  • edd

    Communistic laws being put into place….. Be optimistic…

  • edd

    Government running the people, communism….

  • edd

    Let’s just continue to call it a Democracy, the people won’t know we are moving into Communism. Even if we called it Socialism they won’t know we are moving into Communism. Let’s just call them “Smart Phones”, they won’t know they are “Drone Phones”….. …..let’s run Wall Street with Windows 8, it is a wonderful porous program that can be remotely turned on or off. Wake up people.

  • edd

    What ever happened to the 700 mile wall? All of a sudden, no more news on it….. ….has everyone forgotten to inquire? Now Canadiens are complaining about suspicious underground noise along the Windsor border. Did it ever occur to you that that 700 mile wall along the Mexican border just kept going? Being that we live in the 21st century, wouldn’t a covert Berlin Wall be best built underground and then when it is time, to raise it up out of the ground by remote? Windows 8 would solve that…

  • edd

    Not to scare anyone either…. …just be forewarned….

  • Timer4ever

    Don’t ever take your eyes off of the goverment and its rules. Remember the line about keeping your enemies closer…..they want more control, daily. And we are letting them do it.

  • anthony

    More drones in sky,taking off from airports all over some people dont even know it can be youre neighbor flying a mision and operating it from home.Then the police get to drive fast new carsthey wont have to get out of cars anymore,some are to fat to even chase a crimenel,I imagine people committing a roberry will get shot at from drones we never even seen,good as long as they dont miss theyre target from up there,it been proved a;;ready that its simple ad simple to operate..

  • anthony

    They should be banned from NUDIST BEACHES AND CLUBS!!because that is stalking a sort of club that dont carry clothesetc and these people like privacy not ,being looked at and ending up in a magazine,we need are space laws also..

  • yashpahade

    Am I the only one not worried about this? Damn, people.
    Plus, Seattle PD canceled the drone program.

  • ktm

    Oh yay, this is just the beginning. someday they wont have to knock at the door to wait for you to open it they will knock the door down to take you away to some prison camp that has been in operation for along time as they have set up these places years before. Their plan is to de-populate the world as they have been doing by poisoning our water/air and food, we have doctors giving us meds that cause us more harm than good. The list goes on, there’s really nothing we can do to stop all that is happening or going to happen. no more privacy no more freedom no more rights.

  • Jimmy

    Sooner rather than later the local PD’s willbe equipped with M1A1 Tanks, F-22 Fighters and Aircraft Carriers and who knows a couple Boomers per department…