New Drone City
The New York Police Department is planning to introduce a new drone program in New York City and we should all be enthusiastic about this development. The NYPD has assured the city council that the drones will not be used for surveillance and police work, but I think that is exactly what they should be used for. In a city that sees hundreds of murders a year, it makes sense that all of the technology at the police department’s disposal is put to good use. After all, if the drug dealers and gang bangers could employ these tactics in order to conduct their crimes, believe me, they’d do it.
Some anti-drone activists are already railing about freedoms being trampled upon and violations of privacy, but in a city where kids have been macheted to death by roving gangs (see Lisandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz’s story) and drug deals (the hard stuff, not weed) seem to be the norm in public housing courtyards, we need to promote law and order to its fullest extent. The abolishment of stop and frisk, the system that allowed police officers to stop and search suspicious persons, has severely handcuffed our cops, making it harder to take proactive action against potential threats. Granted, we should have changed the program to better train officers to identify menaces. But now it’s gone and another handicap has been placed on police officers.
So if we want cops to do their jobs as best they can, we need to equip our officers with the right tech. As the rest of the world finds ways to maximize profits and key results using technology, our cops need the same equipment to maximize our safety. Imagine how many drug busts, gang activities, and crimes in general can be stopped if a drone is flying nearby. The power of deterrence is incomparable in its importance to police work and if drones are utilized to monitor potential criminal activity we might be able to stop crimes before they happen, and maybe even save some lives. I won’t mind the drones whizzing by, but then again, I’m not out selling drugs or trying to rob someone.
Tom Copper is a pseudonym.