From the Battlefield to Domestic Airspace: An Analysis of the Evolving Roles and Expectations of Drone Technology

Cameron McDougal




Perhaps one of the most notable developments, with respect to overall impact, to emerge from the War on Terror is the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), or drone. This technology has revolutionized the U.S. Military, and following a long history of military technology shifting to domestic law enforcement operations, will likely impact law enforcement in a significant manner. This transition from the battlefield to domestic airspace is not without hazards or consequences. If drone technology is to be used effectively and efficiently by domestic law enforcement agencies to enhance public safety, prudence must prevail. The U.S. Department  

of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is leading the way for the implementation of this technology into domestic operations. CBP’s short history with drone technology, as well as its future endeavors, will be examined in this paper and provide a framework for improving the transition of drone technology from the battlefield to domestic airspace.

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