In a recent enforcement effort, the Connecticut State Police (CSP) used drones to catch truckers suspected of transporting “harmful devices and materials.”
The use of drones came as part of a Collaborative Operation By Response Agencies (COBRA) highway strategic deployment at a weighing station located at the New York-Connecticut State line on I-95.
The joint operation on February 20 saw officials from several state and federal agencies come together to study the efficacy of drones in identifying trucks attempting to evade inspection. These included the Transportation Security Administration, Connecticut Fusion Center, CSP, Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, National Guard Civil Support Team, and the Department of Homeland Security Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Team.
According to a statement issued by the CSP:
Troopers successfully used the CSP drone to observe trucks evading the weigh station and attempting to divert at the NY-CT state line.
The CSP Traffic Services Unit conducted safety and compliance inspections, while the CSP Mass Transit Security Team provided explosive/radiological detection screening capabilities.
This deployment was conducted on a weekend to reinforce the message that state and federal law enforcement are committed to both protecting travelers on Connecticut roadways and identifying persons engaged in the illegal or nefarious transport of dangerous materials.
While this is just one example of how police departments can leverage new technology, law enforcement agencies across the nation are increasingly adopting drones to maximize situational awareness and ensure safety for their officers.
In California’s Chula Vista, for example, drones are used as “first responders.” The flying robots are often the first to arrive on the scene when an incident is reported and play an instrumental role in catching criminals or assisting detentions.
Drones are also proving to be indispensable during search and rescue operations, with the Pueblo Police Department in Colorado recently commenting that locating a 72-year-old missing man would have been “nearly impossible” with a drone search of the area.