Have you heard? 
 

A new sheriff is in town. And he isn’t riding a horse. He is your “eyes in the sky” and is most often called a drone.

 

A recent 2017 study by Bard College, showed that owning a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or drone is no longer a novelty.  Between 2006 and 2014 only a handful of public safety agencies reported any meaningful drone use.  Since then, over 200 local law enforcement departments have joined the remarkable and rapidly growing drone community. 

Your department may already choose to deploy UAV technology in several of these operations:
 
  • Air support, surveillance
  • Search and rescue support
  • Hostage and active shooter support
  • Air drop supplies 
  • Outdoor crime photography
  • Outdoor bomb calls
  • Accident photography
  • SWAT support 
 

Your Drone is great, why IR?

 
IR save lives.
 

For years, infrared(IR) technology has protected the military. Since WWII, NVG’s and advanced weapon sights have protected soldiers and prevented friendly fire casualties. 

Now, IR technology is cheaper. This permits police departments to beef-up drones with IR devices – Thermal cameras. 
 
 
Hand-held thermal cameras are the “ go to” for ground operations now. SAR, Fugitive chases, and Swat operations reap the benefits of this life-saving technology every day.  
But for aerial operations, a thermal camera on a drone is mind-blowingly valuable.
 

Suspect cannot hide from a thermal camera

 
White hot view of officers and K9 in chase from aerial viewThermal cameras attached to a drone detect any heat source on the ground. 
 
People, animals, and vehicles give off this invisible heat energy.  This heat energy looks “white hot” or grey to the camera.
 
So, the camera screen shows a heat figure run, sit, climb, hide etc… 
 
In the case of a chase, the camera identifies and tracks the running suspect.  If the suspect tries to hide, he can’t. His heat energy is a dead give-a-away.
 
 

Eliminate your confusion in the chase

 
But with all this movement going on, how can you distinguish a suspect from the officers chasing him?
 
With thermal film! Theraml film on shoulder of man identifying him with black spot.
 
How will thermal film help you?
 
Thermal film, known on the streets as “thermals,”  identifies who is who and where they are. Unlike people, thermals do not give off invisible heat energy. Instead, they reflect the temperature from the cold sky. Therefore, instead of appearing “white hot” or grey to the camera, like people do, they appear cold or black.  
 
The results? 
No guessing, quick accurate decisions, and successful operations.
  

Thermals protect you against ambush 

  
The best way to see thermals on an officer is to attach them to their hat, shoulders, chest or upper back.
 
The black mark is clearly seen with the thermal camera. Therefore, the officer’s location is always visible. 
 
Because the suspect will NOT have a black mark, it’s easy to identify his location and movement. With the exact location of the suspect known, the officers in pursuit are protected from a possible ambush.  
 
The same holds true for vehicles.
 
For example, placing the thermal film on the roof of the car eliminates any confusion on a crowded road.  The location of the unit in pursuit is identified, tracked and protected. 
 
In the end, thermal film minimizes the risks officer face and protects them from harm. 
 
 

Possible challenges

  
Fog, smoke and clouds do not interfere with your view of the thermals. 
 
But water creates a barrier.  Therefore, operations underwater are null and void. In the case of rain, wipe off any water that puddles on the thermal marker.  No worries, water does not damage the film. 
 
  

Hug your loved ones at the end of your shift

 

Intrigued to give thermals a try?

Want to make each operation safer?

Don’t let doubt or budgets stop you from making a 5 minute phone call.

Find out how you qualify for a FREE SAMPLE.

Call Tom at  301.443.8885 or Tboyer@ir.tools

Our safety depends on your safety!

  

I would be happy to connect with you on social media as well.

 
 
 The Author

Tom Boyer profile picture

 
 
Tom founded IR.Tools™ in 2006. He has embraced manufacturing premium IR patches, panels, thermal markers, and thermal targets to better protect and train the military and law enforcement communities.  Always the innovator, he is always thinking out of the box. Currently he has 21 awarded patents, and 14 patents pending.  Tom received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and his MBA from Regents University.