Linda Thomas
mynorthwest.com
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 12:48 CST

The Draganflyer X6 is an electric powered Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) which most people refer to as a drone. Seattle Police have two of them. The drones must follow FAA guidelines which include not flying over crowds. They must be monitored by at least one operator and one observer

Put words like “surveillance” and “unmanned aerial systems” together, and people begin to worry about Big Brother watching their every move.
At the direction of Mayor Mike McGinn, the Seattle Police Department has been working on rules governing the use of drones. A city council committee will discuss, and likely vote, on the proposed policy Wednesday afternoon.

The SPD has two drones, so far, that were obtained with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. While the technology will become more advanced, the drones Seattle has burn through batteries in about 10 minutes.

The city says the systems “are intended to help us protect public safety by gathering visual information in specific situations where sending in an officer would not be safe, or to take crime scene photography that a human being could not easily capture.

The use of aerial surveillance cameras will be “tightly controlled, regulated and will not be used to conduct random surveillance,” they say.

Here’s how the Seattle Police Department proposes using the new technology:

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