Drones have become pervasive in our world for photography, utility inspections, and other applications.
Public safety officials say they also have become a threat at prisons and jails where drones have been used to deliver illegal contraband to prisoners.
To combat that threat, Carrollton-based Securus Technologies announced the successful completion of pilot programs using drone detection technology to deter the delivery of the contraband.
INCURSIONS ARE THREATS TO PERSONNEL, INMATES AT PRISONS
The public safety software solutions company said the drone incursions aren’t just threats to public safety personnel, but also to prisoners.
Drone-smuggled contraband can include cellphones, drugs, pornography, and other items.
USA Today reported last year that federal records indicated more than a dozen attempts were made to transport contraband into federal prisons in the past five years using drones. The publication said that state facilities also reported similar attempts.
“A growing number of criminals seem to be recognizing their potential as tools for bad deeds.”
“Civilian drones are become more inexpensive, easy to operate, and powerful,” Troy Rule, a drone legislation advocate and Arizona State University law professor, told USA Today. “A growing number of criminals seem to be recognizing their potential as tools for bad deeds.”
USA Today reported that an inmate at a high-security federal prison in Victorville, California, recruited someone to smuggle two cell phones into the facility in March 2015 via a drone. That transfer of contraband went undetected for five months, the newspaper said.
In its press release, Securus said its personnel have worked hand in hand for 18 months with technology partners to determine what is needed to engineer, install, and implement the drone detection pilot programs.
The company said that trials, investment, and resources will improve the technology over time, and that the results of the pilot programs to date have been “outstanding,” and already have identified new tactics and methods of detection to better secure prisons.
Drone detection utilizes a digital antennae structure infrastructure similar to it’s Wireless Containment Solution, according to Securus.
The company serves more than 3,500 public safety, law enforcement, and corrections agencies with more than 1.2 million inmates nationwide. It holds numerous patents in the public safety, communications, and related areas.
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