No to police drones [Letter]

September 01, 2014

Regarding your recent editorial on drones, while there may be benefits of using unmanned aerial vehicles in less populated areas, I oppose providing Baltimore City police with drones for any purpose ("Eyes in the sky," Aug. 28).

Drone manufacturers and operators hope to create thousands of jobs and earn billions of dollars with this technology. But as with any quasi-military device there is a need for civilian oversight. It's time the City Council takes up the matter.

Drones don't belong in Baltimore. They would be dangerous and eventually could be used for massive spying on law-abiding citizens in their back yards and on their rooftops. The police helicopter Foxtrot is fine; it often circles my area and it is a welcome guest. A drone is another matter — I don't want a flying camera anywhere near me.

Another point no one has raised is the possibility of a drone being shot down. An unmanned aerial vehicle makes an attractive target for amateur snipers and this is bound to happen. What a horror to be killed or seriously injured by a disabled drone that plummets to earth.

Unmanned aerial vehicles have no business in Baltimore.

Rosalind Nester Ellis, Baltimore

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