Culver City Observer -

By David W. Myers
Managing Editor 

Drones Heading to Culver City

Unmanned aircraft will soon begin patrolling Culver streets and neighborhoods


August 30, 2018

Dozens of Culver City residents showed-up recently at the Seniors Center to learn more about the Culver City Police Department's controversial plan to launch a fleet of "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles."

More simply put, drones.

The City Council approved a plan earlier this year to purchase a handful of drones. They are about the size of a small microwave oven and can be operated by a police officer sitting at a desk, rather than walking the streets or driving a patrol car

Police say that the drones would be a cost-efficient way to make Culver City even safer and lessen the risk of law-enforcement officers or other personnel who must respond to an emergency.

Culver Fire Department Chief David White added that the drones would also be helpful if, say, a house caught on fire and the tiny aircraft could fly through the property to see if there were any people or pets inside without needlessly putting a firefighter's life at risk.

Some local residents have expressed concerns about the drones, fearing that they will allow police to unlawfully "spy" on them.

"This smacks of 'Big Brother'," one older woman said at the community meeting.

Most others, though, seemed to support the Police Department's plan to deploy a small fleet of unmanned drones.

"I think that it's a great idea," said Kerri Payne, a resident of Blair Hills.

"It's all about making our city safer, without putting our police officers or firefighters at more risk," she said.


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