Big brother or trusted allies? how the police can earn community support for using unmanned aircraft
Schwartz, Stephen Craig
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This thesis examines how local law enforcement agencies can adopt unmanned aircraft, or drones, as tools to help them perform their public safety missions while earning the support and trust of the communities they serve for the use of this controversial technology. The paper presents the current state of the law surrounding drone use by the police, along with published recommendations on drone implementation and trust-building practices. Through the use of a structured multicase study and comparative analysis, the author tests the validity of the drone-specific recommendations of groups like the International Association of Chiefs of Police, American Civil Liberties Union, and Community Oriented Policing Office of the United States Department of Justice. The case studies also examine the influence of factors like demographics, political affiliation, crime rate, and pre-existing community law enforcement relationships on the success or failure of an agency's drone adoption efforts. Based on the analysis of the case studies, the thesis provides a recommended process to follow for law enforcement leaders looking to implement their own drone programs using evidence-based practices to earn the trust of their citizens.
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