January 14, 2016 — Pepperdine Law professor Greg McNeal was quoted in an article in The Kernel about police drones entitled “The high-tech cop of the future is here today.” The article discusses new equipment used by police officers and the controversies surrounding high-tech policing.
Via The Kernel:
When politicians face scrutiny over police actions, they talk about overhauling the training regimens of officers in their jurisdictions. But they also tend to write checks for new equipment that can supposedly help police officers do their jobs—and, in the case of body cameras, hold them accountable for their actions. But are these politicians really helping the community? Or are they merely creating a form of RoboCop, reliant upon the tools clipped to his duty belt rather than his wits and his training?….
Sometimes cops can’t get where they want to be—such as to conduct aerial surveillance. While a helicopter isn’t always practical for a common cop on the street, a drone connected to a camera can be. Police departments all over the country are thus making requests to use drones for everyday law enforcement activities. Scholars at places like the Brookings Institution argue that laws regulating drones for cops should be relaxed. “[I]n the states where drones have been banned (unless accompanied by a warrant), the police have not been prohibited from using any other type of surveillance equipment—just drones,” writes Pepperdine law professor Gregory McNeal in a policy brief aimed at legislators. “This technology centric approach has done little to protect privacy, but will certainly harm public safety, depriving law enforcement of a tool that they could use to protect people.” One legislator, Pennsylvania State Sen. Mike Folmer, responds: “My concern about our technology today is that it’s growing faster than our rights.”
For the complete article, please see: The high-tech cop of the future.