NYPD’s Drone Program Revolutionizes Crowd Control and Public Safety

The Department (NYPD) is significantly expanding its drone program to improve public safety and manage large crowds more effectively. The department's 81-drone fleet provides real-time surveillance and strategic deployment capabilities, offering a cutting-edge solution to modern policing challenges, reports Fox 5 NY.

The Role of Drones in Crowd Control

Chief of Patrol John Chell highlights the importance of drones in managing protests and large gatherings.

“We've had over 2,600 protests with more than 310,000 participants and 2,800 arrests since October 7th,” says Chell.

The drones provide a 5K view of ground activities, enabling precise and efficient officer deployment.

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A notable instance of drone utility was during a protest at Columbia University's Hamilton Hall. Drone footage guided officers to the correct entry point, leading to the successful clearance of protestors.

Training and Expansion

NYPD recruits undergo extensive training in strategic response, crowd mitigation, and best practices for using drones.

“We're trying to expand that throughout the department because the protests are getting bigger and obviously we're trying to get better and better,” Chell explains.

The NYPD's drone operations are led by Deputy Commissioner for Operations Kaz Daughtry.

He emphasizes the all-weather capability of drones, stating, “These drones can fly in rain, sleet, snow. We don't have to wait for aviation.”

Enhanced Capabilities and Future Prospects

Daughtry points out the dramatic increase in drone use, noting a 480% rise over the past year. The drones assist in various operations, from monitoring subway surfers to everyday deployments. “These drones are a game changer,” Daughtry asserts.

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Looking ahead, the NYPD is training with drones equipped to deliver flotation devices to stranded swimmers. This innovation represents a leap in precision policing and public safety enhancement.

“They're our eyes in the sky, often about 250 feet in the air, looking for any anomalies, fights, drinking, disorderly groups,” Daughtry says.

Legislative Testimony

Deputy Commissioner Daughtry is set to testify before the Homeland Security Committee in Congress, discussing the potential of drones to further enhance public safety. This testimony will highlight the transformative impact of on law enforcement.

DroneXL's Take

The NYPD's expanding drone program exemplifies the transformative potential of technology in modern policing. By providing real-time intelligence and improving officer safety and efficiency, drones represent a vital tool in the law enforcement arsenal. As drone technology continues to advance, its role in public safety will only grow, promising even greater precision and effectiveness in managing the complexities of urban policing.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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