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Drones could be coming to law enforcement agencies in Fairfax County

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MCLEAN, Va. – After months of discussion, Fairfax County could be joining surrounding counties by adding drones to their law enforcement agencies.

 

Over the next few weeks drones will be a hot topic. The Unmanned Aircraft System program, led by Roy Shrout, is making a big push for law enforcement in the county to have drones for assistance for many reasons.

“Search and rescue, I think, that’s one of the big ones we are looking for. The Police department side-is they manage the missing adults type thing. To put that platform in the air to get down on ground-level where the helicopter cannot,” said Roy Shrout.

That is one of the many arguments for having this system. Fairfax County has looked all over the nation at other areas that have been using drones, some of which are neighboring areas. 

“Loudon County’s got a program. They’ve had a program for over a year now and they’ve had some great saves. They’ve been used to go out to Shennendoah and in closer regions to actually help find missing adults,” said Shrout. 

 

Almost eveyone at the meeting was happy with implementing drones, but some of the questions are involving privacy issues. A McLean man says this wouldn’t give amatuers access to drones.

 

“The police, the emergency, they are not in that realm, and I do beleive that as Fairfax County puts together its privacy policy is in the forefront of what they are trying to protect,” said Steve Jarriel. 

 

The County’s task force is in fact making it known that people’s privacy will not be in danger by having the ACLU involved with their policies. Some residents hope all people will see the beauty in this. 

 

“Everyone should embrace that future and know that there are people who are trying to introdcue these into the airspace in a responsible way, in a way that’ll benefit society in a good way,” said Jarriel.

 

If this gets approved by the Board of Commissioners, the program will be going on its first mission in the late summer.

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