Use cases & solutions

Amsterdam Police launches special drone team

Wednesday, 10 April 2024

In a progressive move, the Amsterdam police have announced the establishment of a specialized drone team, a first in the Netherlands. This team will consist of full-time drone pilots, marking a significant step forward in the use of new technology for safety purposes. Adeline van den Berg, an operational specialist with the Amsterdam police and a driving force behind the initiative, shares her insights on the role and future of drones in maintaining public order.

"The coronavirus period was a turning point for us," Van den Berg tells us. "With weekly demonstrations and events, it became clear how valuable drones are for oversight and safety. They not only offer a broader perspective but also a sense of security for the commanders and the public."

Previously, flying drones was considered a secondary task within the police, something done alongside regular duties. The establishment of this special team marks a significant shift towards recognizing the importance and potential of drone technology. "Planning drone operations as a secondary task was challenging. The increasing demand and the need for a specialized team became increasingly clear," explains Van den Berg. The decision to establish a dedicated team came after a careful evaluation of operational needs and the benefits a specialized team could provide. "We see that the demand for drone deployment is only increasing, and with this team, we can not only respond to current needs but also innovate and develop for the future."


The new drone team will not only focus on flying itself but also on important tasks such as enforcement and countermeasures against unwanted drones. "It's crucial that we keep up with developments and, where possible, stay ahead. With this team, we can focus on innovation and the future of safety and enforcement from the air," emphasizes Van den Berg.

One of the most exciting aspects of this new initiative is the focus on automatic flying and the integration of drones into a network of air support for the city. "The idea is to eventually have a network of drones above Amsterdam, which will revolutionize the way we ensure safety in the city," says Van den Berg enthusiastically.

Strict rules

An important part of the operation is navigating the strict rules for flying over populated areas. Van den Berg describes how collaboration with the inspection and obtaining the necessary exemptions enable them to operate efficiently and safely. "Although we follow strict rules, our drones offer the flexibility to operate from various positions, allowing us to always capture the necessary images without compromising safety. Thus, we will never fly over crowds but always remain above roofs."

Van den Berg further emphasizes the complementary role of drones compared to traditional police helicopters. "Drones are not intended as a replacement but as an addition to our existing resources. They enable us to respond quickly and efficiently to dynamic situations without deploying larger resources."

The establishment of this special drone team by the Amsterdam police is a clear signal of the growing role of technology in public safety. "The rise of drones brings new challenges, but also new opportunities for enforcement and safety," concludes Van den Berg.

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