They stand guard to serve and protect us. They risk their lives to save those of others. Our local, state and national police put service before their own safety every day. This year, from May 12-18, we honor those who protect us every day by coming together for National Police Week.

With recent technological advancement, police not only protect us from the ground but also from the sky with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that allow law enforcement officials to expand their tactics with aerial surveillance.

According to a report from the Bard Institute, at least 347 state and local police, sheriff, fire and EMS departments in the U.S. have acquired UAS, with local law enforcement leading public safety UAS acquisitions.

UAS are changing the way police are furthering their safety efforts around the country. Whether deploying UAS for a bird’s eye view during an active shooting situation, surveying and monitoring crowds or analyzing traffic accidents, police UAS are becoming more and more prevalent in the force.

UAS also enable officers to quickly survey natural disaster areas in real time, providing them with accurate and timely information on how to handle each situation. This technology allows police departments to survey damage and danger from a safe distance before taking action. Once a survey is complete, UAS equipped with thermal cameras can help expedite the search and rescue process, locating people in a fraction of the time of an on-foot search.

For law enforcement, it is essential to be equipped with the latest and best technology in order to keep the public safe — and UAS, like the FlightWave Edge, are helping them do just that. We are grateful that UAS technology is helping police officers protect and serve their communities, while also better ensuring their safety as they risk their lives for all of ours.