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SPD will show off drone at Garfield Community Center

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.

From SPD:

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:

UAS Operations Manual

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17 thoughts on “SPD will show off drone at Garfield Community Center

  1. This organization has not earned the trust to be allowed to use these devices. This organization has proven time and time again that they don’t care about the civil liberties of the citizens of Seattle. We need to pass either a city-wide or state-wide initiative to ban these devices from being used by our corrupt police force. Period.

  2. Big brother always watching. I do not like it at all.
    Bad idea to even let get started. Take the money and hire more police.
    Our freedom taken away one step at a time.
    Every one should scream no and he’ll no to this.

  3. First it became illegal to wear a gas mask when the police were firing tear gas willy nilly around the hill, next will it be illegal to close your drapes or cover sky lights to keep the prying electronic eyes of the drones out?

  4. Wait, let me see if I understand this correctly. The SEATTLE Police Dept is allowed to have drones? The same police department that just very recently agreed to a clean-up plan with the Dept of Justice because of numerous cases/complaints of excessive force? The same police department that, years ago, handled the WTO protests so responsibly? THAT police force? Hoo-boy, we ARE in trouble. And I’m curious . . . are they going to be able to launch and monitor these drones out of the Roy Street (aka Starbuck’s) coffee shop (you know, the West side annex to the East Precinct)?

  5. All I see are a couple of anti-authoritarian loudmouths who want some attention. It doesn’t reflect the feelings of the community as a whole. If it helps in police work, I’m all for it.

  6. Re comment by “PP”: These drones obviously do not reflect the “feelings of the majority as a whole.” It would appear that the resident troll for the Seattle Police Department just logged on.

  7. Give me a break you dirty hippies, get a life and contribute to society. Drones do not bother me or anyone I have spoken to that lives in the city. What do you have to hide?

    When will these occupiers learn that no will respect them until they start acting like civilized adults, and have an intelligent conversation.

    I for one hope SPD use these drones to chase out all the hippies and bums; make the city more livable for the rest of us.

  8. Seriously questioning if I actually want to continue to take the side of the the protesters in that video.

    I think SPD has a ways to go before they can justify these things (if ever), but fuck people who aren’t capable of presenting argument other than “HEY LOOK AT ME I’M LOUD AND ANNOYING”.