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ACLU of Connecticut questions ethics of police use of drones

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PLAINFIELD--Police in Plainfield haven't yet used it officially, but they're glad to have a drone.

The department says its $10,000 drone package includes spare batteries, as well as a $6,000 infra-red camera for night use.

The department was able to buy the drone and accessories through an anonymous monetary donation.

Officers say cases to use the drone would include missing person searches, accident reconstructions and fire investigations, as well as when people barricade themselves in buildings.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is worried that because there aren't state regulations on police use of drones, they could be used to surveil people and therefore be an invasion of privacy.

The organization wants the Legislature to step up and create rules.

David McGuire, of the ACLU, demanded that one requirement be "that police get a warrant before they use a drone to surveil an individual or go on private property."

Plainfield Police say they are currently drafting a department policy on drone use.

"We're not looking to take this and just fly it over somebody's house," Sgt. Gerry Geyer said.

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