How to Spot Police Drones | What Does a Police Drone Look Like at Night?

Let’s face it – drones are great! They offer a lot of fun for kids of all ages. We’re not just talking about teens here, we’re talking about adult kids too! And while drones can be all about fun and games for most people, for some they are a means of earning money. Their commercial applications are endless and only time will tell just how much drones will help our everyday lives in the future.

Over the last couple of years, the number of industries that are actively using drones has skyrocketed. Government use scenarios are exponentially growing too. These days, everyone from police, health services, and fire departments actively use drones in their missions.

And while playing around with drones is outright awesome, hearing them buzzing through the air at night when you’re trying to sleep can be an issue for some people. But, don’t call 911 right away – perhaps it’s the police! What does a police drone look like at night and how can you distinguish it from regular drones? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out!


Why Would Police Fly their Drones in Your Area?

“But why would police fly their drones here? What’s so interesting in my area? Is something going to happen?” – these are the main questions you’re probably asking yourself right now. There’s nothing to worry about, though! There are two main reasons why police drones would fly around in your area and they are as follows:

Aerial Surveillance

The first reason why a police drone might be flying in your area is surveillance/patrolling. This is likely to be the case if you are living in an urban area with thousands of people living in close proximity. We’re talking about downtowns here, strictly urban areas which are often packed with illegal activities as soon as the sun settles down.

Car patrols only make up for one portion of the surveillance efforts. Aerial surveillance, with all its high-tech shenanigans, completes the equation and gives police a much better understanding of what’s going on in the area. This is a preventative measure and you should not be alarmed… assuming you’re not doing anything illegal, of course.

Ongoing Investigation

The second reason, though, is a bit trickier. If there’s an ongoing investigation, a robbery taking place, a hostage crisis or a murderer on the loose, then the police typically goes into all-out-attack mode. Not only will they drastically increase the number of patrol officers in the area, but provide more intelligence and have their eyes on everything in the area.

The latter is where drones come into play. Professional unmanned aerial platforms equipped with infrared cameras and zoom capabilities are perfect for these missions. They’re going to give the police a ton of tactically important information that should lead to the de-escalation of the crisis. 


How does a Police Drone Look Like at Night?

Police drones vary from one police department to another. Some use DJI Inspire models, some use Matrice, and some use other commercial big boys. But, then again, some police departments favor much smaller, harder-to-detect, models like DJI Air 2S or Mini 2.

What does a police drone look like at night and how to distinguish it from regular drones? Well, some police drones possess additional flashing lights to alert people they’re doing police business. Others, however, look just like regular drones from afar, so there’s no real way of properly distinguishing them.



So yeah, if you’re not doing anything illegal yourself, there’s no point in stressing out because police drones are flying around in your area. They’re looking for something or someone, or are just patrolling the streets to combat any illegal activities that might happen during the night.

In any case, as long as you’re not doing anything illegal, spotting police drones at night shouldn’t be concerning. End of discussion!

Larry Haller