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Can Drones Be A Police Officer’s Right-Hand?

Amazon files for a patent for what appears to be a police assistant drone.


Along with books and music and every conceivable household item, Amazon sure likes drones. A few years back, the Internet giant began talking up a strategy to enlist drones for more efficient package delivery. These days, Amazon in focusing on ways drones can play a role in safer, more effective policing.

According to an article on Digital Trends, Amazon was recently awarded a patent for an “unmanned aerial vehicle assistant,” described as a mini quadcopter that would park itself on a police officer’s shoulder until it was called into action. Through voice activation, an officer could send the camera-equipped drone to do reconnaissance on a situation, allowing him or her to assess a location, an object, or even an altercation before actually moving in. The drone, according to the patent material, would hover around and stream live video back to the officer, allowing him or her to make an informed judgment on where to move next without incurring any unnecessary safety risks, explains the Digital Trends article.

Other use cases: Providing enhanced support for routine traffic stops, helping to track down lost children in a crowd, or even sussing out a suspect that has fled the scene of an incident—again, all without putting the officer in immediate danger.


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