It's the Cops!

LAPD Adds a Couple of Drones To Its Arsenal, Tells Public Not To Be Alarmed

Flying night-vision camera copters are for “narrow and prescribed uses.”
Nothing to fear, back inside everyone. (Photo via Draganfly)

Nothing to fear, back inside everyone. (Photo via Draganfly)

When drug runners started using drones to scout out marijuana growing fields that were ripe for the raiding, it was only a matter of time before the police nabbed a couple for themselves.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently added two small camera-equipped, remote control helicopters to their arsenal, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The drones were a gift from the Seattle Police Department, who quickly changed their minds about the drones as soon as everyone in Seattle freaked out about having little police helicopters flying around.

“We wanted to be really up-front with the public that we’re looking at using these down the road,” LAPD spokesman Commander Andrew Smith told the Los Angeles Times. “We wanted to make sure it didn’t look like we were trying to sneak these things into action.”

The LAPD would never! Except for when LA law enforcement used a small spy plane to conduct widespread surveillance sweeps over Compton. But don’t worry. This time the police only intend on using little helicopters for “narrow and prescribed uses,” like chasing down known criminals or peeking in through windows during a hostage crisis.

The drones are Draganflyer X6’s, which are more hardcore than little consumer copters that you’d use to take cool aerial videos of the New York Public Library or as a flying snitch in a game of Quidditch.

“Our Draganfly systems are mission proven, our people are mission capable, and clearly, our customers are mission focused,” the Draganfly site says about their drones.

It is yet to be seen whether or not the citizens of LA have a higher tolerance than Seattleites, or if the outcry will force the drones to move on to yet another police department — the NYPD, perhaps?

At least they haven’t strapped up the drones with stun guns… Yet.

Follow Jack Smith IV on Twitter or via RSS. jsmith@observer.com