NPR

NYPD Chief Defends New Drone Fleet Amid Concern From Civil Rights Advocates

The New York City Police Department says the new drones will help with hostage situations and search and rescue operations.
This February 2017 photo provided by DJI Technology Inc. shows a test of a type of drone in downtown Denver, that the New York Police Department can use to reduce risk to officers and bystanders during a response to dangerous situations. The department said Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, that potential uses for its 14 drones include search and rescue, hard-to-reach crime scenes, hostage situations and hazardous material incidents. (DJI Technology Inc. via AP)

The New York City Police Department this week unveiled a fleet of 14 drones it says will help with a variety of uses, from hostage situations to search and rescue operations. But privacy advocates have concerns.

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan says drones will allow police to do their job more effectively and that the technology will only be deployed in “specific instances,” like the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. New York is the largest city in the U.S. so far to turn to drones for police use, but not the first.

“It’s definitely not going‘s Jeremy Hobson. “It’s not going to be used for surveillance on individuals. This is going to be used to specific police functions.”

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