Thursday, February 14, 2013
NYPD plans to use drones
From NBC 4:
Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are filing FAA applications to use drones for surveillance but civil rights groups are concerned about a lack of regulation.
In January, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said he would be interested in using drones for monitoring crowds and large demonstrations. But Kelly’s idea of a drone is not the Predator that most Americans picture. During a sit-down interview at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y, Kelly reportedly said he would consider using a small drone similar to a remote-controlled airplane equipped with a camera.
Small drones, even tiny ones – the size of hummingbirds – seem to be under consideration by dozens of other police agencies too.
The I-Team reviewed hundreds of pages from FAA drone applications filed by police departments, sheriff’s offices, the FBI, and educational institutions – most of the applicants are researching drones that can be launched right from a person’s hand. This interactive map plots which public and nonprofit entities have so far applied to used drones.
Police and civilian use of drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), was made possible last year when President Barack Obama signed a law opening the skies to UAVs by September 2015.
Several New York lawmakers, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, joined a “drone caucus” supporting the legislation.