When the mayor held a town hall meeting at the Central District’s Kawabe House earlier this month, one resident voiced concern about the police department’s new drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles. Mayor McGinn said he sees the drones, which can only sustain a few minutes of flight at a time, as “a low-cost alternative to having a helicopter” at a scene.
While SPD wants to sell the drone, a Draganflyer X6, as a glorified RC helicopter with a camera attached that could be useful to get overhead shots during incidents, others see the beginnings of a dystopian surveillance society with few rights to privacy.
You can check out the drones for yourself tonight (Thursday) at Garfield Community Center. SPD will display one of the units and hold a Q&A about them starting at 6 p.m.
The Seattle Police Department is one of 50 organizations that have received permission from the federal government to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) – also known as ”drones”.
What – UAV Question & Answer
When – October 25, 2012
Time – 6:00 p.m.
Location- The Garfield Community Center, 2323 East Cherry Street, Seattle, WA 98122
Seattle Police Arson/Bomb Squad Lieutenant Greg Sackman will be on hand with the UAV to answer your questions and receive your feedback about our proposed policy.
A draft copy of the Department’s operational protocol is attached below: