Police Departments Are Starting To Use Drones As First Responders – How Is It Working So Far?

Drone technically and use has evolved rapidly. Police departments quickly found uses for the technology and some over recent years have even started using the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as first responders in a way. The Santa Monica Police Department initiated its program almost two years ago and the department says it changes the game for officers in the field. Most of the time, the drone arrives on scene before other officers and it can help paint a picture of the situation. But concerns about surveillance and privacy remain. Santa Monica authorities say those are always the biggest questions when it comes to this. Joining to discuss how Santa Monica’s program works and how regulations have evolved over time is Peter Lashley, Santa Monica police officer and lead pilot of the department’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, and Jay Stanleysenior policy analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. 

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