NYPD to deploy drone fleet, stoking fears of Big Brother

The department said in a statement the devices would be used for searches and rescues, car crash investigations, crime scene documentation, evidence searches at hard-to-access locales, hazardous materials calls, monitoring crowds at large events, hostage and barricaded-suspect incidents, and “other emergency situations” so long as the chief of department approves.

Police officials Tuesday demonstrated how drones would be used to fly over three situations: a hazardous materials spill, a vehicle collision and a missing person’s case.

But civil libertarians and other department critics weren’t impressed.

They’ve long argued that drones in the hands of law enforcement can easily be used to track innocents, especially those who speak out against City Hall and police.