The Boston Police Department (BPD) has purchased unmanned aerial devices (also known as drones) with the intent of using them to capture a bird's-eye view of crime scenes, but none have been deployed, reports the Boston Herald.
BPD spokesman Lt. Michael McCarthy told the Herald that any decision to adopt new technology would only be considered after first seeking and receiving extensive input and feedback from the community.
The prospect of police using drones more routinely, particularly for surveillance, has met resistance. Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), say the devices threaten privacy rights, and without proper regulation could be used to target communities without probable cause or judicial oversight, the Boston Globe reported.
Massachusetts State Police began using drones last year to document car crashes and major crimes, but does not use drones for routine matters or regular surveillance.