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Chula Vista police are using drones for 911 calls -- how it works and what are the concerns




Consultants from Flyspan Solutions demonstrate a drone intending for police use during the first-ever Drone Expo in Los Angeles on December 13, 2014.
Consultants from Flyspan Solutions demonstrate a drone intending for police use during the first-ever Drone Expo in Los Angeles on December 13, 2014.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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The Chula Vista Police Department announced last week that it will start using drones to respond to emergency calls in addition to the use of first responders.

Chula Vista, the second largest city in San Diego, is participating in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, where selected cities can test unmanned technologies with loosened regulations to advance the industry. The drones will provide real-time aerial footage and feed to both first responders on the scene and to the command center.

According to the Chula Vista Police Department, it typically takes up to six minutes for police officers to respond to 911 calls, a drone can do it in less than two minutes. Another advantage is that drones offer bird’s-eye view of inaccessible areas. Critics, however, are raising privacy concerns calling surveillance technology invasive. We look at what the pilot program is offering and what are its limitations.

Guests:

Phil Collum, police captain at the Chula Vista Police Department, where the drone pilot program is being implemented

Jesse Gipe, senior economic development manager for the San Diego Economic Development Corporation, which partnered with the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista in their joint application to participate in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program

Hamid Khan, organizer with Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, a watchdog group that studies police surveillance



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