Police chief wants drones in St. Louis

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AP

Posted on June 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 22 at 6:21 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson wants to add drones to his crime-fighting arsenal.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://is.gd/42OssC) reports that Dotson wrote a letter this spring to the Federal Aviation Administration making the case for unmanned aerial vehicles. He says that it's crucial to look at new technologies to keep officers and the public safe and to apprehend criminals.

The letter was a preliminary step toward seeking approval for unmanned -- and unarmed -- flight.

The assent of Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce is required, and she also wrote to the FAA to offer "enthusiastic support."

Dotson says he would seek donations and grants to pay for the drones. They cost from $60,000 to $300,000 each. While pricey, they're still cheaper and safer than helicopters.

Privacy advocates have raised concerns.

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