The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) is poised to add a surveillance drone to the department’s Special Response Team’s equipment inventory, the MDPD’s department of public affairs said.
The unmanned, micro air surveillance drone—a “T-hawk”—was acquired from defense contractor Honeywell, MDPD says. A T-hawk is a vertical takeoff and landing drone that can fly for 40 minutes, reach heights of 10,500 feet and cruise in the air at 46 miles an hour.
The T-hawk is a micro drone that weighs only 20 pounds, making it portable and “easy to assemble,” and can be airborne within 10 minutes,” according to Honeywell. In addition, it is simple to fly with minimal training, and because it provides “hover and stare capabilities,” the T-Hawk will be used to support advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance with real time video documentation.
Police officials stress the drone will not be used for general surveillance, but will be deployed in emergency situations when “an eye up there” can make a difference. However, Honeywell still needs the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the T-hawk in urban areas of the United States. If approved, the MDPD would be the first local police department to deploy such a surveillance drone.