Los Angeles Police Department gets approval for drone use

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Police Department has won permanent permission to fly drones.

The Daily News reports the Police Commission on Tuesday voted 5-0 to allow the LAPD to use the small, remote-controlled aircraft on a regular basis.

A year-long test of the drones ended in July.

The newspaper says the commission's vote allows LAPD to move forward with its drone program, but officers will be limited in how they can use them.

They can only be deployed in a strict set of scenarios — hostage situations, bomb squad responses, active shooter responses and other immediately dangerous incidents. Top SWAT commanders also must approve each drone use.

Privacy advocates fear that "mission creep" eventually could lead to armed drones and aircraft spying on the public.

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