Congressional Leaders Question NYPD’s Use of Chinese-Made Drones

Congress is concerned about the New York Police Department's (NYPD) plan to use Chinese-made drones to assist in responding to gunfire in high-crime areas.

Congress is concerned about the Department's (NYPD) plan to use Chinese-made drones to assist in responding to gunfire in high-crime areas. The new program is currently being tested and involves pairing drones with ShotSpotter technology, reports The Record.

NYPD's Drone Strategy

The NYPD is testing a new program that pairs drones with ShotSpotter technology, which detects gunshots and sends location data to drone stations. Kaz Daughtry, NYPD's deputy commissioner of operations, explained this plan to the House Homeland Security Committee. While the NYPD aims to phase out Chinese-made drones, Daughtry defended their current use, citing their effectiveness and affordability compared to American-made drones.

Congressional Concerns

Several Congress members expressed concerns about using drones from Shenzhen DJI Innovation Technology (DJI), a major Chinese supplier. The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned earlier this year that these drones pose significant risks to critical infrastructure. Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) highlighted the national security concerns, noting that the extensive deployment of Chinese drones could lead to unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data.

Daughtry informed Congress that although the NYPD plans to start purchasing drones from American manufacturers, he has personally reached out to the CEOs of leading U.S. to convey that DJI drones “perform better than your drones.”

NYPD's Defense of DJI Drones

Daughtry stated that while the NYPD plans to purchase American-made drones, DJI drones currently outperform U.S. counterparts. He emphasized their capabilities and cost-effectiveness, which are crucial for protecting lives.

“They have capabilities that locals can't offer on that cost-by-cost basis and we're talking about a weapon or a tool that our frontliners need to protect our lives,” Daughtry said.

Implementation Details

The NYPD's plan involves linking drones to ShotSpotter, which will detect gunshots and send the location data to drone stations in five selected precincts in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Central Park. Daughtry described how an alert will be sent to a drone pilot at the NYPD's Joint Operations Center, who will then deploy the drone to the location. Officers will receive a live visual feed from the drone on their smartphones before arriving at the scene. Each precinct will have two drone platforms attached to rooftops.

Community Concerns

The use of ShotSpotter technology combined with drones has faced criticism. Civil liberties advocates and community leaders argue that ShotSpotter is unreliable and contributes to racially biased policing. According to a July 2023 report from the ACLU, over 1,400 U.S. police departments use drones, with Chula Vista, being the first to implement a similar program in 2019. The report suggests that more cities will adopt this technology, despite concerns.

Recent Uses of Drones by NYPD

Drones have been crucial in recent NYPD operations. For example, they played a key role in responding to a student protest at Columbia University. John Chell, the NYPD's chief of patrol, noted that drones enhance officer situational awareness and safety, allowing for more effective resource deployment.

The NYPD's fleet of 85 drones covers 6,300 miles of streets and highways, 472 subway stations, and 274 public housing developments. Drone usage increased by 420% from 2022 to 2023. Daughtry clarified that these drones are not used for warrantless surveillance, routine patrol, traffic enforcement, or immobilizing suspect vehicles, and are not equipped with weapons.

DroneXL's Take

The NYPD's use of DJI drones highlights the ongoing debate about national security versus operational efficiency. While concerns about and potential misuse persist, the superior performance and cost-effectiveness of DJI drones cannot be ignored.

As continues to evolve, balancing these factors will be crucial for law enforcement agencies across the U.S. The integration of drones with technologies like ShotSpotter could significantly enhance public safety, provided that privacy and civil liberties are adequately protected.


Discover more from DroneXL

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Proposed legislation threatens your ability to use drones for fun, work, and safety. The Drone Advocacy Alliance is fighting to ensure your voice is heard in these critical policy discussions.Join us and tell your elected officials to protect your right to fly.

Drone Advocacy Alliance
TAKE ACTION NOW
Follow us on Google News!

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © DroneXL.co 2024. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from DroneXL.co is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us first.

FTC: DroneXL.co is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 3632

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

en_USEnglish