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City of Grand Rapids approves funding for police department drones


The City of Grand Rapids voted to approve the purchase of drones for the Grand Rapids Police Department today

The unanimous vote from commissioners was taken during a fiscal committee meeting. Nearly 100 thousand dollars will go toward the purchase and delivery of Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones.

The purchase and use of police drones has faced community pushback with many expressing concerns over privacy and possible discrimination against Black people.

Meanwhile, the GRPD has said the drones would be used for investigations involving vehicle crashes, crimes, and hazardous material incidents. Other uses include searching for fleeing suspects, tactical operations, and for special events where an aerial view is needed.

GRPD plans to have its drone program fully operational within one month.

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