NYPD Drones to be Deployed


Julia Booth, Reporter

On December 3 rd , the New York City Police Department unveiled a fleet of drones to be used in
hostage situations, search and rescue operations, hazardous materials, to document crime
scenes and collisions, and monitor crowds and traffic at large events.
In addition, these drones will be useful to lessening the danger the police force is exposed to in
situations by providing key information.
However, the New York Civil Liberties Union said that the police drone policy places no
meaningful restrictions on privacy protection from drones in New York City. The policy appears
to fall short in balancing law-enforcement and privacy of the public, in which the drones could
be used to spy on civilians.
In response, the Chief of Department stated that NYPD drones would not be used for
warrantless surveillances and would only contribute to the protection of the police force.
Still, questions remain regarding the threat of privacy and in a statement from New York’s Legal
Aid Society, the United States’ oldest and largest provider of legal aid to those in poverty in the
United States, the drones would only produce, “continued unrestrained expansion [that] will
only further sow distrust and increase unequal treatment of our clients”. The statement even
goes as far as to say the deployment of police drones would be a “dangerous step towards the
further militarization of the NYPD”.