NYPD unveils new fleet of drones

December 4, 2018

The New York Police Department on Tuesday unveiled its new fleet of 14 drones, it says will be used to fight all kinds of crimes across Gotham.

“Whether it’s a search and rescue mission, an inaccessible crime scene, a hostage situation, or a hazardous material incident, this technology will undoubtedly help keep New Yorkers and offices safe,” the police department said in a statement.

The nation’s largest city police force, the NYPD is the latest police department to use the flying devices. More than 900 departments across the country already use drones for various operations.

The move was immediately slammed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which met with the NYPD before it publicly disclosed its drone fleet.

“We believe the new policy falls far short of what is needed to balance the department’s legitimate law-enforcement need against the privacy interests of New Yorkers, the group said in a statement.

The NYPD insists the drones will not be used to spy on New Yorkers, but rather to improve officer safety and search remote crime scenes.

“As the largest municipal police department in the United States, the NYPD must always be willing to leverage the benefits of new and always-improving technology,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in the statement.

The NYPD said in its statement 29 offices are trained to operate the drones.

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