People attending parties in backyards or outdoor events in New York City might be seen by a device moving over their homes or places, as the NYPD has announced it will be utilizing surveillance drones on Labor Day. The department is set to use this small aircraft to combat complaints about big gatherings, private events or parties.
This decision was announced at a security briefing on J’ouvert, an annual Caribbean festival. In this event, people celebrate the end of slavery that has a massive attendance, which forces the police to make an active presence in Brooklyn. Still, the drones displayed by the NYPD will respond to “non-priority and priority calls” outside the parade route. About the measure, assistant NYPD commissioner Kaz Daughtry stated on a press conference:
“If a caller states there is a large crowd, a large party in the backyard, we’re going to be utilizing our assets to go up, go check on the party.”
Following the steps of countries like Israel, the New York police stated that it will be relying much more on drones for policing the city. To confirm this, the Mayor Eric Adams, who was a police officer, stated he would like to see the police making use of the “endless” possibilities drones could bring. However, the recent decisions of the NYPD have caused concern among people, who have stated this could violate privacy and could be illegal if done by a human police officer.
Regarding this, the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP). Albert Fox Cahn, stated that “One of the biggest concerns with the rush to roll out new forms of aerial surveillance is how few protections we have against seeing these cameras aimed at our backyards or even our bedrooms.”