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Drones over New York City? NYPD chief admits he’s interested in an UAV.

The head of the New York City Police Department announced this week that the largest local law enforcement agency in the United States might soon rely on spy drones for conducting surveillance.

During an open conversation held Thursday between Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, the chief of police confirmed that New York’s boys in blue aren’t entirely opposed to acquiring an unmanned aerial vehicle for the sake of security.

“We’re looking into it," Kelly reportedly told an audience at the 92nd Street Y Thursday evening. “Anything that helps us.”

Jill Colvin, a producer for the website DNAinfo, says Kelly told his crowd that adding an UAV to their arsenal of surveillance tools could come in handy during future mass protests in the Big Apple. For starters, she reports, Kelly said cops could begin with using basic civilian models that are available for purchase online and in stores.

"You can go to Brookstone and buy a drone," Kelly told the crowd.

“The only thing we would do is maybe use the cheap $250 ones to take a look and see the size of the demonstration or something along those lines,” Colvin quotes him as saying.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still ironing out a rulebook for how UAVs will be used domestically in the years to come. Currently, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rely on the spy planes to secure the country’s borders. Dozens of smaller agencies across the country have applied to use drones too, though, a decision that has led to a large amount of concern from civil liberty advocates that say blanketing surveillance violates the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.


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