Boston police head says drones instead of choppers a great idea

police drone
Photo credit: Mediaite

The Boston Marathon bombings have some thinking safety may trump privacy concerns. Boston police commissioner Ed Davis is one of those people, saying he would consider using drones for surveillance during the 2014 race.

“As you saw from the state police helicopter video, in a tactical situation, there’s sometimes no better way to keep the officers safe on the ground than to be able to look down on the action,” Davis Davis told WBZ-CBS NewsRadio 1030.

Without a helicopter, Davis said drones provide the Boston police an inexpensive way to “get up high and give the officers the information they need.”

A Boston Herald editorial endorsed the use of drones, referring to them as “a useful tool” for safety that may be more embraced than privacy.

Now, there are those who hear the word “drone” and go running for the nearest protest…

But surveillance drones can be a useful tool for law enforcement, and like it or not they’re coming to a city near you. It is important that their use be restrained, with proper oversight to prevent abuse. But in an emergency situation, there may be no more useful tool.

The editorial notes that according to the ACLU, 30 states have introduced legislation to restrict or ban the use of drones, including Massachusetts. Florida passed legislation just last week.

“I don’t know that would be the first place I’d invest money, but certainly to cover an event like this, and have an eye in the sky that would be much cheaper to run than a helicopter is a really good idea,” Davis told the Herald.


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