Mini Poll: Drones in St. Louis?
Drones in St. Louis? That’s a headline on one of Sam Levin’s recent news blogs for the Riverfront Times. Mr. Levin’s column (and a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) about letters written to the Federal Aviation Administration by Police Chief Sam Dotson and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce expressing support for unarmed, unmanned drones for anti-crime activities, including chases and surveillance, drew widespread attention to the subject.
Dotson and Joyce are hardly alone in expressing interest in drones as a crime-fighting tool. Police agencies from across the country have done the same. Mayor Francis Slay says that while St. Louis has no immediate plans to deploy drones, the idea is worth exploring. He also notes that he believes drones’ use – by journalists, police agencies, and others - is likely inevitable and that prudence dictates a discussion of where and why they might be permitted.
This Mini-Poll is offered as a small part of that discussion. (And it is likely worthwhile to repeat some things we have said about these weekly polls in the past: they are NOT SCIENTIFIC. They are meant to spark civic discussion or to bring some idea to your attention. No actual public policy is made based upon these results.) To save some of the Constitutional scholars among you the trouble of sending us the link, we have included one to the Fourth Amendment. We’ve read it.