Portsmouth police poised to buy drone

PORTSMOUTH The Police Department is expecting to receive a $69,638 federal grant to buy a drone which, Police Chief Robert Merner said, will be shared with other city departments and the 14-community Seacoast Emergency Response Team.

In a Sept. 17 letter from the state Department of Safety, Merner was notified the Homeland Security grant is “prospectively” awarded to purchase an “unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle.” The letter notes that after the grant is accepted by Portsmouth officials, approvals are needed at the state level, then the funds will be awarded in October.

The chief said the drone can be used to locate missing people and protect the public, but will not be used to invade privacy. He reminded Portsmouth is a destination for many large-scale events, including political protests and presidential visits, which could benefit from drone capabilities.

At last year’s Halloween

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