SLMPD exploring use of drones for police department

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 24 at 11:04 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Imagine drones patrolling the sky over St. Louis. While it is controversial, Police Chief Sam Dotson says it won’t invade people’s privacy.

Chief Dotson says the aircraft would help the department operate more efficiently, and in a time of shrinking budgets and increased expectations, drones are a good solution.      

Dotson said he’d use them to watch for terrorist activity at big public events, like a Cardinals game or a fair and for police chases.

However residents are already concerned about drones being an invasion of privacy.

“I have no expectation that we would use a [drone] to do anything with anybody in their house,” Dotson said. What I see are vehicle pursuits, public spaces, where people are out in wide-open view of anybody that’s driving by, flying by. That’s how I see these being used.”

In order for the SLMPD to begin using drones, they still require funding for the project and approval from the FAA.

Dotson says that could all happen in the next year. 

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