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Use of Drones by Public Safety Agencies: An Introduction

This interactive course explores the emerging use of drone technology to maximize resources and enhance public safety. It is intended for public safety agencies interested in or having started a drone program. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of current drone use in agencies, pre-implementation strategies for consideration, foundations for agency-level programs, and the future outlook of drone technology.


About This Course

Over the past decades, public safety agencies have leveraged new technologies to achieve their goals, both more efficiently and more effectively. Using tools such as geographic information systems, data analysis products, wireless communication devices, and many others, public safety personnel have expanded their ability to identify and respond to critical issues in their communities.

Recently, an increasing number of agencies have examined the use of drones as a promising new practice. As with any novel technology, organizations using drones will discover new avenues for solving problems, but they may also face unexpected challenges. This web-based training is based on the Police Executive Research Forums (PERF) publication A Report on the Use of Drones by Public Safety Agencies – and a Wake-Up Call about the Threat of Malicious Drone Attacks to help public safety agencies establish successful drone programs.

Use of Drones by Public Safety Agencies: An Introduction is designed to give public safety practitioners an idea of how drones may be used in their line of work, benefits and challenges an agency should consider before implementing a drone program, and guidance on starting a drone program.

Participants should expect to spend approximately 2 hours exploring the content and resources in this course.

This tuition-free online training was developed by the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) and was supported by cooperative agreement 2019CKWXK003 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

Primary Audience

The Use of Drones by Public Safety Agencies: An Introduction eLearning course is designed for public safety agencies interested in implementing a drone program. This course is appropriate for practitioners working at any level within police agencies, sheriff’s departments, fire and rescue services, and other public safety stakeholders.

Virginia Center for Policing Innovation

The Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative community policing training, technical assistance, and program management services to law enforcement organizations and the communities they serve throughout the United States.