San Jose Police Force Purchases Unmanned Aerial System

460_490521403 San Jose Police Force Purchases Unmanned Aerial SystemA police force in the Greater Bay Area of California – the San Jose Police Department (SJPD) – has reportedly acquired an unmanned aerial system (UAS) for investigating dangerous situations.

The SJPD is the first law enforcement organization in the Bay Area to bring in the technology, according to a report from KGO-TV San Francisco.

The police bought a $7,000 Century Neo 660, which manufacturer Century Helicopter Products describes on its site as a ‘perfect platform for someone that's looking for a solid multi-rotor for aerial photography, search and rescue operations, law enforcement agencies, and other activities where a flying drone is needed.’

Because it was purchased with federal money – a grant from an arm of Homeland Security – it can be also be used by other law enforcement in the Bay Area, the report says.

Although the SJPD has not yet received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and has therefore not operated the UAS, controversy is already flying. The American Civil Liberties Union, for example, reportedly said in a statement that the SJPD “should never have even sought funding for a drone without a robust public debate and city council approval.”

The Los Angeles recently acquired from the Seattle Police Department two UAS, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia have obtained – and already put in action – five new UAS.

The full KGO-TV San Francisco report can be found here.


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