Albany Police Address Drone Program at Community Forum

Albany police chief Eric Hawkins says the department is testing and evaluating drones as it continues the process of obtaining this latest technology. 

That process also includes seeking input from residents.

Police listened to concerns and questions from residents Tuesday night at a community forum hosted by the Albany Community Policing Advisory Committee. Residents wanted to know why the drones were being purchased, what role privacy plays, and how much footage will be kept as evidence when the drone is in use.

With strict policies and procedures, Hawkins says the drones are only for emergencies, not general surveillance purposes. 

“So we’ll either have a search warrant, or we’re going to have some other emergency or exigent circumstances for us to use these,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins says about a dozen officers will be trained to use the drones, which will be purchased in four to five months.

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