This would mark an interesting step forward for the use of drones by law enforcement. San Jose Police Drone Usage, if handled responsibly, and within the scope of existing surveillance laws, is something we would endorse and applaud. Read more of the story originally reported by the San Jose Mercury News.
“SAN JOSE — The use of a police drone in San Jose took a significant step toward reality this week with the release of a report by the city’s neighborhoods commission that endorses a one-year pilot program for the contentious surveillance device.
The report, released Wednesday, recommends the pilot program and thereby marks a full-circle moment for the city and police department, which came under heavy criticism last year when the drone was quietly acquired on a consent agenda with no public input.
The commission concludes in its report that it “shares the department’s view that the UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) can be a useful tool, one that can help the department to serve and protect the public,” and “that if the department continues to work openly with the council, the commission and the public, the public’s concerns can be alleviated.”
But there are still significant layers of bureaucracy to penetrate: The report now goes to the Public Safety, Finance, & Strategic Support Committee, which would then decide on a recommendation to the City Council. Even if things move briskly, final approval for the pilot program might not happen until at least August, given the council’s calendar and its summer break.”