Police Commission OKs LAPD 1-Year Drone Pilot Program

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December 4, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: December 4 on

The Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday gave the LAPD the go-ahead to start a one-year experiment using an unarmed drone to deal with certain tactical situations. The department”s guidelines state that it won”t weaponize the vehicles or use them to illegally spy on the public, but the 3-1 vote sparked angry chants of “shame on you” by drone opponents.

The police agency”s plan calls for using the camera-equipped drone to provide its SWAT team with “situational awareness” when dealing with active shooters, armed barricaded suspects, hostage situations, hazardous materials, natural disasters, explosive devices and search-and-rescue operations.

The department will also be able to use the vehicle to conduct “perimeter searches of armed suspects with superior firepower, an extraordinary tactical advantage, or who are wanted for assault with a firearm against a police officer.”