Austin Texas May Be Test Site For Drone Training
The top story tonight drones may soon be flying over Austin crime scene. Yeah officers spent the day in college station learning how to use the technology. Fox heavens Noel Newton was there and bring us this exclusive story.
At first glance, it looks like a child’s toy you’re, actually looking at an $ 80,000 military drone. There are 250 of these models being used in Afghanistan. Manufacturers of the unmanned aerial vehicles are now marketing them to law enforcement.
When you want to Tom it’s, just the whole boat yeah members of APD’s technology unit, traveled to a.m. to learn how to use them. Uavs feed live video which is accessible to any mobile device with internet access.
Already. I can see how this would be. Incredibly, beneficial officers want to begin deploying them at crime scenes mostly officer safe. For instance, if you were out on a scene in you had chased a person to a building or somewhere else.
You could get an aerial view of that thing is when you have somebody hide, and they always have to drop on you, because they know when you’re coming you don’t know where they’re at currently. Officers call in the air unit for aerial searches with the Department helicopter.
If the pilots aren’t on duty, it can take them hours to get into work and take off. In most cases the helicopter has to launch. So you’re. You’re waiting at least 30 40 minutes to get a helicopter on scene and by that time, where’s, your sister, they’re gone, deploying a UAV takes minutes just a matter of putting the intent on the on The roof of the car and attaching the rotors and hitting the start, but this is all being done in what’s called disaster city behind me is a train derailment and the bag behind.
That is a building collapse. This is where first responders can test new technology and a realistic environment. The Federal Aviation Administration has given those associated with the university’s, robotics program krzr permission to fly drones here.
According to a recent study by the UK Daily Mail, Texas, A & amp M – is one of 63 launch sites in the u.s. APD will apply to fly UAVs this September, when the FAA lists certain restrictions, making it easier for law enforcement to get authorization a vendor.
Once Austin to be a year-long test site, beginning in january 2013, at a cost of one dollar that may raise some privacy concerns which officers are prepared to address. These are a react. Robot they’re, not proactive.
They’re. They’re, designed for a very short range short flight time. Officers expect the FAA to limit the flights to a height of 200 feet with the restriction of always keeping the aircraft within view and with a battery life of about 30 minutes flying it around the city would be impossible.
I can you know, promise you that the awesome Police Department is not in the business of spying on people. Don’t be afraid of technology. You know, technology is your friend in college station, nawal newton fox 7 news edge.
Some austin police officers spent the day at texas, A & amp M learning how to fly unmanned aerial drones. We were there as they flew him by remote control. They weigh less than four pounds and they feed live video.
These particular drones were created for military use, and manufacturers are now trying to sell them to local law enforcement. One vendor in fact, has asked Austin to be a year-long test site APD officers plan to start that in January of next year.
So what does this mean? For the rest of us, what are the privacy concerns here joining us now to talk about that with the ACLU is matt simpson, and when you first heard about this drone program, what was your feeling at what you think? Well, you know it’s, a it’s, a federal it’s, a sounds like it’s, something that is sort of a federal priority and there seems to be interest among law enforcement generally.
To start. Looking at ways this technology drone technology and really a lot of other technology can be used at the local level, and so I think I wasn’t surprised. I do think that there is some concern.
You know these drones are capable of gathering a good deal of information, so the privacy concerns were really probably the first, the first not surprised, but but a little bit concerned that we need to think through the privacy.
What tops the list of those privacy concerns. Well, I think the question is, you know, how are they going to be used and what information is going to be kept? You know, for example, with surveillance cameras, sometimes that data will be kept for a short period of time and then and then purged it’s unclear how the data gathered by these by these drones would be would be maintained.
I think APD has said that these will only be used at crime scenes when they’re called out and they’re, not going to use them elsewhere. But how do you police that? How do you know they’re? Not using it elsewhere right and that’s.
Actually one of the major recommendations ACLU has had just generally for law enforcement. Using these drones in the United States is that there should be an audit process, and so it shouldn’t just because they shouldn’t just be sent out and the information collected.
But then we should go back and make sure that what’s being collected is useful. Make sure that what’s being collected is in. It is in keeping with the Constitution and other requirements for privacy within the united states.
And i can give you one example: you know you could send a drone to. You know, monitor and arrest under RS, wats, also SWAT scene and something where you know there’d, be a very defined use for it. Uh-Huh.
But often these cameras will capture information, maybe all the way there or all the way back or even in the neighborhood surrounding that. And so the question is what happens with the information that isn’t really relevant to that arrest.
But you’re catching say your neighbor in their backyard, and if that, particularly if that person is identifiable in the video there’s, some major issues with collecting that information. So i think APD is going to have to be very careful about the kinds of information they maintain went collected by these drones.
Well, the aclu try to work with APD as far as setting up a protocol or setting up regulations about how they’re going to do this, would you guys try and get involved with that? We’d, be glad to get involved.
It’s, we’ve, worked with the Austin Police Department and chief Acevedo in the past on the Austin Regional Intelligence Center. We’ve worked nationally on a lot of these issues and I think not just the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas, but also really groups in the community interested individuals.
This is a the Austin has a very activated community and I think people are concerned about the privacy implications of these drones, and so I think it shouldn’t just be it should just be advocacy organizations but really the community at large.
You know, maybe through City Council or through the manage the city manager’s office, but there should be community involvement really and how we use these and our decision to even use them at all the eyes if they ACLU and everybody else is – is Very much focused on there’s.
No, I think there is some concern about these drones. Alright man, thanks for yeah. Thank you very much appreciate it.