Connecticut cops say they won’t take part in drone program to monitor if people are social distancing after residents said it would be like ‘living in a police state in China’

Sunday, April 26, 2020
By Paul Martin

The Westport Police Department shared the change on Thursday after their initial Tuesday press release announcing the partnership with DraganFly
In the department’s Tuesday announcement, First Selectman Jim Marpe shared news of the partnership with the ‘leading drone company.’
Drones would use software that measured ‘biometric readings to understand population patterns and allows quick reaction time to ongoing events’
Residents slammed the police department for the ‘invasive’ program, asserting that it would be like living in a police state in China
Following the announcement from the police department, Draganfly shared their own press release on Friday
‘Draganfly‘s technology does not employ facial recognition or collect individualized data, single out individuals and is not used for surveillance or contact tracing,’ the release states

By MATTHEW WRIGHT
DAILYMAIL.COM
26 April 2020

Connecticut police announced on Thursday that they were backing out of a new tentative drone program that would monitor social distancing and work to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Westport Police Department shared the change on their Facebook page after their initial Tuesday press release announcing the partnership with DraganFly was slammed by residents.

According to the Thursday update, Police Chief Foti Koskinas announced that the department would not take part in the Draganfly drone ‘Flatten the Curve Pilot Program.’

‘I am always committed to bringing our community the most innovative solutions to the public safety problems that it faces,’ Koskinas said in the release.

‘Although I see the greater potential of this technology, I will always be responsive and respectful of the concerns of our citizens in every decision that I make.

He later added: ‘In our steadfast commitment to public service, we remain honored to have been given an opportunity to assist in a pilot program which could someday prove to be a valuable lifesaving tool. We thank Draganfly for offering the pilot program to Westport and sincerely hope to be included in future innovations once we are convinced the program is appropriate for Westport.’

In the department’s Tuesday announcement, First Selectman Jim Marpe shared news of the partnershio with the ‘leading drone company.’

‘We know that social distancing is working to flatten the curve and ultimately saving lives. In an effort to continue safeguarding the citizens of Westport during the COVID-19 outbreak, and as we position ourselves to gradually return to our routines, we should explore ways to prevent a possible resurgence of the virus,’ Marpe said on Tuesday.

The release states that that drones would use software that measured ‘biometric readings to understand population patterns and allows quick reaction time to ongoing events or potential health threats.’

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