Three years after it acquired a pair of drones that it chose not to deploy in response to protests about potential surveillance uses, the Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday morning took its first step towards a drone pilot program.
LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala presented the department’s plan for a pilot program for limited use of drones to the Board of Police Commissioners, which was not required to vote on the pilot program Tuesday and took no action.
Girmala said the department plans to hold a series of public meetings to get feedback on the program, then draft official guidelines before bringing the pilot program back to the commissioners for approval.
Two organizations, the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition and the Drone- Free LAPD/No Drones, LA! Campaign, held a protest and news conference prior to the commissioners meeting, KCBS Los Angeles reports.
The LAPD’s move comes weeks after a majority of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight commissioners voted they wanted Sheriff Jim McDonnell to stop flying a drone used in law enforcement operations.