City Council Candidate Jalon Alexander Proposes “Drone Force Philly”
Candidate says drones see crime, not color.
(Philadelphia-February 22, 2023) – City Council candidate Jalon Alexander has a new idea for combating gun violence and other serious crimes in Philadelphia – a drone fleet.
Alexander, a cyber security lawyer, says the city must make better use of technology, including the small flying robots. He calls his proposal Drone Force Philly. Under the proposal, each police district would be equipped with two drones to patrol the city and alert the nearest precinct with information related to active shooters, carjackings, and other violent crimes.
“Drones have a proven track record of reducing and deterring crime,” Alexander said. “In addition to spotting violent crime, drone footage can also be saved to track and monitor illegal dumping activity. The machines are used effectively in over 1,100 jurisdictions in this country.” Under the plan, patrol routes will be set based on efficiency and artificial intelligence. Other key points of the proposal include:
- Hiring a staff of 10 employees to both monitor the drones as well as provide IT support and a check against malfunctions. The unit would also coordinate and provide additional information to police to help inform responses to live violent crime to intercept and deter criminals.
- Utilizing drones will allow law enforcement to have footage of crimes that occur in real-time and increase safety in responding to high-speed pursuits and liveaction shooters.
- Operating one drone at each police division allows the department to patrol all 147 square miles of Philadelphia simultaneously.
“As the initial responder and observer of crime, drones remove the potential for racial bias in law enforcement,” Alexander said. “Drones see crime, not color.”
Drone Force Philly would begin with 42 of the devices, two for each police district.
According to Alexander, drones have been responsible for significantly decreasing crime in highly violent areas. In Tijuana Mexico, DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter led to more than 500 arrests and a 10 percent decrease in overall crime rates, with a 30 percent drop in home robberies. Drones were also extremely effective when deployed by the Los Angeles Police Department. Last year the force deployed drones over 2,000 times, and the drones arrived on scene before police officers in over 50% of cases.
Additionally, the Beverly Hills Police Chief noted a 34% decrease in crime since the introduction of the drone program which ultimately was key to the approved expansion of the program.
Alexander’s plan calls for aggressively introducing and expanding Drone Force Philly to protect civilians and law enforcement. “Drones are but one example of how we should be using technology to help solve the biggest problem our city faces today,” said Alexander. “Another way we can use technology to prevent future crimes is by utilizing social media leads to protect potential victims of retaliation. Allowing law enforcement to increase its collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI will allow police to utilize best practices from their cyber divisions to ensure that leads released via social media can be acted on proactively to stop retaliatory violence before it occurs.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office noted that retaliatory violence makes up a significant amount of violent crime in the city.
Read more about Jalon Alexander’s campaign at https//Jalonforcitycouncil.com