An update to the Bard College’s Center for the Study of the Drone’s database of public safety agencies with drones estimates that at least 910 state and local police, sheriff, fire, and emergency services agencies in the U.S. have acquired drones.
In this revised count, researchers uncovered more agencies that had acquired drones prior to 2017 than previously reported, and estimated that the number of public safety agencies with drones has increased by approximately 82 percent in the last year alone. All told, there are now more than twice as many agencies that own drones as there are agencies that own manned aircraft in the U.S.
This database includes all known law enforcement and emergency response agencies that are reported to own at least one drone. It may not, however, reflect the total number of agencies that have used drones at some point, as it is not uncommon for an agency to receive drone services from nearby agencies or to contract the services of a local drone operator. This database is based on a combination of local media reports and government records.