NYPD will use drones to observe non-public events over Labor Day weekend

The New York Police division has been utilizing drones in a restricted capability for years — deploying unmanned plane techniques for search and rescue missions, to doc crime scenes, or to observe giant public occasions like New Years Eve in Times Square. Quickly, you would possibly see one in your yard as nicely: NYPD officers have introduced plans to make use of drones to comply with up on noise complaints through the lengthy Labor Day weekend.

“If a caller states there’s a giant crowd, a big occasion in a yard, we’ll be using our property to go up and test on the occasion,” Assistant NYPD Commissioner Kaz Daughtry mentioned throughout a press convention Thursday. Privateness advocates have been fast to reply, with a consultant from the New York Civil Liberties Union telling the Associated Press that the announcement “flies within the face of the POST Act” that requires police to publish its use policies for surveillance technology.

And certainly, the plan may signify a stark departure from these insurance policies. When the Division first introduced its new drone program, it promised that the know-how would not be used for “warrantless surveillance.” That pledge is mirrored within the NYPD’s POST Act Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Impact and Use Policy, which particularly states that (absent exigent circumstances), drones aren’t for use “in areas the place there’s a affordable expectation of privateness with out NYPD personnel first acquiring a search warrant that explicitly authorizes the usage of UAS.”

It is unclear if the division plans to acquire a warrant for noise complaints at non-public occasions over Labor Day weekend, or if such a criticism falls beneath “exigent circumstances.” Even so, the NYPD has been growing drone use lately, and has deployed unmanned aerial techniques 124 instances in 2023.

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