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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Seattle police clarify plans for drone aircraft

In a story last week, The Times reported that the Seattle Police Department is among dozens of law-enforcement agencies that were recently given approval by the Federal Aviation Administration to use unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones.

Seattle police declined discussing the drone aircraft with The Times while the story was being reported, but have since posted more information on their website.

Police say they are in the training and evaluation stages of deploying a drone. When the aircraft is eventually used, police note that it will only be used for crime-scene photography, barricaded persons or missing persons cases

But police say the aircraft will not be used until “appropriate policies” for its use are developed and approved, an apparent reference to concerns cited in The Times story by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. In fact, the department now notes it has had discussions with the ACLU on the drone aircraft.

According to the Seattle police tweet, the drone program is funded by the Urban Areas Security Initiative.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Seattle, Seattle Police Department, unmanned aerial vehicles


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