Feds Authorize MSP’s Use Of Drones
The Federal Aviation Authority has signed off on the use of drones by Michigan State Police. According to this article at mlive.com, MSP is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the United States to be authorized to use the unmanned flyers for [police operations. A statement from Michigan State Police says that "Potential missions include search and rescue, crime scene, and crash investigations."
The article goes further to point out that MSP had to create a strict policy for drone usage to get the feds to sign off on their plan. A two-man crew will be required, one pilot, one observer. The pilot, certified by the FAA, has specific training from the drone's manufacturer. Also, the drone must remain below a 400 foot ceiling, and must remain in sight of the crew.
Training flights have been taking place at the Lansing Post since February 2014. As far as how many drones the state plans to purchase and utilize is unknown at this time.
Well, Michiganders, how do you feel about this? Is this a helpful, useful tool to assist officers? Or, is it just one more step towards stripping your privacy and civil rights? The vague, open-for-interpretation description of the planned usage of these drones leads me to believe this is the most slippery of slopes.