Following the city’s recent decision to implement permitting procedures that are expected to ease the city’s notoriously strict drone restrictions, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has moved to expand its own fleet by acquiring cutting-edge BRINC tactical UAVs designed for use in critical situations to reduce threat to human lives.
The NYPD has purchased an undefined number of LEMUR 2 drones, which BRINC designed and manufactures for use by police, fire, public safety, and disaster response services. The airborne asset, which was introduced in March, builds on the significant technology aboard first-generation LEMUR aircraft. As a result, the UAV offers soldiers with remote access to and better situational awareness of conflict and other circumstances when direct human engagement would result in a significant danger of harm or death.
According to the New York Post, the incident included less than ten LEMUR 2 craft worth roughly $87,750. The city’s police force had possessed 19 craft, including 14 DJI drones purchased in 2018, according to an outside 2022 audit of official fleets across the state.
As is customary, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Post seasoned its piece with a heavy emphasis on the potential political ramifications of the procurement, citing previous opposition by the city’s civil liberties groups to any deployment of technology by the NYPD that could be used for public surveillance purposes. It also emphasized the department’s increasing drone use, testing, and pilot training of drones under Adams – himself a former police officer – as it highlighted a strengthening of law enforcement assets, something it usually applauds elsewhere.
It remains to be seen whether such very obvious chafing of sensitivities succeeds in reigniting past reactions. In any case, the acquisition of LEMUR 2 tactical drones is clearly in line with the underlying rationale of growing UAV use for a wide range of objectives in New York, as well as the NYPD’s own broader, more effective use of the craft in its operations. Its new tactical drones should undoubtedly help with this.
LEMUR 2 UAVs offer unprecedented two-way communication capabilities, the ability to shatter glass obstacles, improved systems for interior flying, and other vital features for emergency assistance, such as ten different sensors.
A LiDAR sensor, tracking camera, white light spotlight, 4K camera, FLIR thermal imager, microphone-loudspeaker tandem, and two IR spotlights are among the front-facing technologies. The ensemble allows for visual, nighttime, 3D, and thermal imaging, as well as two-way communication between the operator and anyone nearby.
The NYPD joins BRINC’s roster of US police agencies who use LEMUR 2 drones in crisis situations, as well as defense units in Ukraine that use them for safe advance inspection of Russian-bombed or potentially booby-trapped structures. As part of BRINC’s Global Rescue Network, the UAVs have also been employed in a variety of post-disaster response initiatives.