Highlights of the policy governing how Selma’s Police Department will use the unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, include:
A Selma Police Department employee will be trained and certificated to control the drone during flight. An observer will responsible for maintaining line of sight of the drone while in flight and will alert the operator to any potential hazards as required by Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Drones may be used to enhance the Department’s mission of protecting lives and property when other means and resources are not available, or are less effective.
Any use of a drone will be in strict accordance with constitutional and privacy rights and all applicable FAA regulations.
Absent a warrant or exigent circumstances, operators and observers shall adhere to FAA altitude regulations and shall not intentionally record or transmit images of any location where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as a residence, yard or enclosure.
Operators and observers shall take reasonable precautions to avoid inadvertently recording or transmitting images of areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. These can include deactivating or turning imaging devices away from such areas or persons during operations.
Unauthorized access or misuse of the system, unauthorized reproduction of images, or unauthorized distribution of images may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination.
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The drone video surveillance equipment shall not be used:
• To conduct random surveillance activities.
• To target a person based solely on individual characteristics, such as, but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.
• To harass, intimidate or discriminate against any individual or group.
• To conduct personal business of any type.
• The drone shall not be weaponized.
RETENTION OF DATA
Data collected by the drone shall be retained as provided in the established records retention schedule. Not all video is recorded during a flight, although the live video feed is used to assist in the flight by the operator. If the video/photographs are requested by an officer to be retained, they shall be booked into evidence in accordance with the digital evidence booking procedures. The video/photographic evidence will be booked upon completion of the flight by either the operator or the observer.