Council: Please Slow Down On Drones
January 25, 2018
By Suzanne Benedittis
I just learned of the City's intention on NextDoor. I believe our Council intends well, but have the moral and ethical issues (plus public relations') that come with this decision been addressed?
Drones are a like a “double-edged sword” with both favorable and unfavorable uses. As a Social Ethicist I ask you to pause to address moral and ethical issues involved before buying drones. Here are but a few of my concerns.
Is the City considering weaponizing the drones? With or without weaponization will people perceive Culver City as so high in crime that it is militarizing its efforts? That its police force is no longer able to keep the peace that it's becoming more like a military state? How will this affect our real estate value?
Will drones, perhaps not in intent, but in effect destroy the small-town feel that draws ever so many to our City? Will people feel like “Big Brother” will be ever-present? Etc.
My dear Council members, please consider delaying the vote on this purchase until the City puts in place regulations detailing when, and where and why our Police and Fire Departments will deploy drones. Will we be informed through Nixle when they are being deployed? Why or why not?
And please make sure that we, the people of Culver City, out of respect for the fact that our taxes will be paying for these drones that can potentially militarize our city, please hold a Town Hall meeting to make sure that we are duly informed before committing our taxes to such a major paradigm shift in how we are being protected.
Dr Suzanne DeBenedittis, PhD
January 8, 2018