Police tap into drones as new crime-fighting, public service tool

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The Hoover Police Department has a new tool officers say will provide a whole new perspective on fighting crime.

The department has purchased and received its first drone — or small unmanned aircraft system, as the Federal Aviation Administration calls them — and is ordering two more, said Capt. Gregg Rector.

The Phantom 4 Professional drone Hoover bought comes equipped with a camera that can relay real-time video footage to officers on the ground, as well as maintaining that footage in a recording.

But don’t expect to see any gun-toting drones — like you see in some TV shows or movies — patrolling the streets anytime soon.

While the military uses armed drones, Rector said he doesn’t foresee that crossing over into civilian law enforcement in the near future — at least not in cities like Hoover.

But there are multiple uses Hoover police hope to get out of the drones, Rector said.

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