High-tech Military Gear for Use in Law Enforcement

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close new domestic markets are emerging for armored vehicles, non lethal weapons and aerial drones. Police agencies in the United States and around the world have expressed great interest in leveraging these advanced technologies for use in civilian law enforcement. One example is the Lenco Bear Cat Armored Vehicle initially developed as a armored personnel carrier for special operations, the Bear Cat has enabled SWAT and HRT teams to have armor protection levels normally reserved for military forces. Aerial drones are of particular interest to law enforcement agencies, the Shadow Hawk unmanned aerial system from Vanguard Defense is a fast and highly maneuverable drone that can be deployed from the back of an SUV. At the TED Global 2011 conference FESTO showed off a proof of concept prototype bird like robotic aircraft that both looks like and shares flight characteristics with its organic counterparts. Drone technology is progressing rapidly and the FAA is already drafting new rules on how drones can be used within the United States sparking both controversy and ethical debate about just how these technologies will be used and what legal limits if any will be placed on them. Going forward it seems clear that these technologies will play a vital role in the future of law enforcement. Once the technological cat is out of the bag however it can be rather difficult to tame, in the coming years civilians will also use drones for personal use, recreation, home security, entertainment, aerial photography, protest movements and counter surveillance.

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