Published March 29, 2023 | Version v1
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UAS Law Enforcement Technicians in South Carolina: An Exploration of Supply and Demand

  • 1. Nieri Department of Construction Development and Planning, Clemson University, Clemson, SC,


Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), commonly referred to as “drones,” are tools used in many industries. Law enforcement, in particular, has leveraged drones for various applications, including search and rescue, surveillance, and accident reconstruction. However, a recent report suggested South Carolina’s public safety agencies underutilize the technology. This paper focuses on UASs in law enforcement and examines the issue through the lens of market supply and demand. Market demand was determined by surveying 46 South Carolina police chiefs. The police chiefs were asked about their current and future drone programs. The survey data shows that there is market demand for law enforcement UAS technicians, as 61% of the departments currently use drones, with another 36% expected to in the future. Market supply was partly addressed by searching the course catalogs and criminal justice program websites for drone-related keywords at all SACS-accredited community colleges in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. The search revealed that market supply was lackluster at best, with only 15 of the 110 community colleges offering drone courses. No UAS courses were tailored to law enforcement, and the program websites did not mention the technology at any level.


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