The Los Angeles Police Department has won permanent permission to fly drones.

The Daily News reports the Police Commission on Tuesday voted 5-0 to allow the LAPD to use the small, remote-controlled aircraft on a regular basis.

A year-long test of the drones ended in July.

The newspaper says the commission’s vote allows LAPD to move forward with its drone program, but officers will be limited in how they can use them.

They can only be deployed in a strict set of scenarios — hostage situations, bomb squad responses, active shooter responses and other immediately dangerous incidents. Top SWAT commanders also must approve each drone use.

Privacy advocates fear that “mission creep” eventually could lead to armed drones and aircraft spying on the public.

Associated Press

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  1. It will be interesting to read and find out if LAPD is going to adhere to the FAA’s Part 107, for the use of their drone(s).

    Also, for the people that fear if LAPD could armed drones, that is something that only the Federal Government has strong restrictions on, and as far as I am aware, only the military and other DoD entities have access too. No one else.

    Now, that isn’t to say that John Doe can’t modify the drone to and for making it an armed drone. But doing so would violate Federal Law and therefore be committing a felony in doing so.

    Also, the FAA has many restrictions on U.S. Air Space, and as of this moment and time it is still a work-in-progress to and for enforcement of the Air Space, so it will be interesting to see their maps of where they can fly and cannot fly. Again, the FAA has control over the air space and not LAPD, or other local governing entities.

    I feel that overall the use of drones can help law enforcement in so many ways. But also, in the wrong hands, or unscrupulous individuals, drones can be used for many wrong reasons. A good checks and balances would be for all entities to have flight logs of their drones, and the purpose of flying a drone on a specific area. By having these checks and balances the Public could be more accepting in the use of drones in or near their areas too.

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