Boston police bought another ‘high performance’ drone — and want to create a new unit to fly it
But the expansion renewed concern that police drones could be used to carry out routine surveillance that violates people’s Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted searches. Last fall, the City Council passed an ordinance that will require the department to disclose all previous and future surveillance technology purchases to the council, starting July 20. In addition to requiring the department to obtain permission from the council before purchasing new technology, the ordinance also allows the council to review technology already purchased by the police and decide whether the department may continue using it.
A spokesperson from Mayor Michelle Wu’s office said the mayor “will ensure that this [purchase] is in full compliance with the surveillance oversight ordinance” once it formally takes effect.
Over a dozen police departments in the state regularly use drones — law enforcement drones make up over 40 percent of all those registered to government agencies in the…