Drones, Microsoft Help Fly Police Data Into the Cloud

iacp2016day1welcomeMicrosoft wants to bring law enforcement into the “cloud” and drones can help lift them to new heights.

On Monday, the software giant demonstrated Microsoft Cloud for Government at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego. The software bundle provides secure cloud computing to government agencies and conform to all law-enforcement compliance controls and restrictions, including ISO 22301 certification and Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) controls.

In addition to showcasing a number of real-time video surveillance devices and streaming body cameras, Microsoft highlighted the Microsoft Advanced Patrol Platform, a smart patrol car which debuted at last year’s IACP expo. Drones that enhance police situational awareness will integrate seamlessly into the MAPP platform, deploying an Aeryon SkyRanger drone and AeryonLive, a web-based application.

The combo will allow real-time video to be streamed from drone-mounted cameras, providing up-to-the-minute situational awareness both to officers on the ground and commanders located anywhere with Internet access.

Boasting a 50-minute mission flight time, the SkyRanger offers single-operator transport and deployment. Company officials say its flexibility makes it “ideal for government and commercial use due to its stability in high winds and adverse conditions.”

“The cloud-based technology has made it possible for us to instantly access surveillance video, which allows us to respond faster than ever before to robberies and potential violent crimes,” Chief James Craig, Detroit Police Department said during the expo. “In one situation we were able to catch a suspect in just two hours because we had that real-time access and strong, actionable intelligence when we arrived on the scene.”

For Aeryon, the Microsoft partnership is yet another feather in the company’s hat when it comes to drone-based police solutions. In 2014, the company announced that the Michigan State Police had agreed to standardize its statewide drone deployment with Aeryon’s SkyRanger quadcopter models.

“There will be an unmanned aircraft of some type in every police car, in every fire truck, at least in the country,” Aeryon representative Donald Shinnamon said. “The applications for public safety are tremendous.”

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