More discussions held over drone program

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By Jonathan Smith

Officials with Culver City Police and Fire departments spoke to the Culver City Council earlier this month about updates to the unmanned-aerial vehicle policy and pilot program. The discussion happened during a city council meeting.

The program, which began in March, allows Culver City Police and Fire officials to use drones “to assist Police and Fire personnel in handling rapidly unfolding emergency incidents,” according to officials.

The drones would help provide aerial support during emergency events, and “provide an added layer of transparency and accountability by recording aerial video of the incidents,” according to the Police website.

Captain Jason Sims of the CCPD told the council drones have been deployed 10 times since the start of the pilot program. The city purchased eight drones last year. Sims also said the departments made several changes to the policy after community forums.

Residents at the meeting voiced their praise and concerns over the policy and program. Several called for more oversight over the use of the program in the form of a citizen committee.

Others hoped that more research would be gathered. The council has the final say on the program after the conclusion of the pilot program.

To review the policy and program, visit www Culvercity.org.