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DOJ Releases Updated Policy on Use of UAS in Law Enforcement Activities

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The Department of Justice has released a new version of its policy on the use of unmanned aircraft systems in investigations, search and rescue operations and other authorized law enforcement activities. 

DOJ said Wednesday the updated policy adds additional measures to ensure the security of the U.S. supply chain, address cybersecurity concerns and protect privacy and civil liberties.

The guideline also requires DOJ’s law enforcement components to evaluate acquisitions of drones for cybersecurity risks in order to deter potential threats to the department’s critical networks.

To promote airspace safety, operations using UAS technology should be approved at an appropriate level and conducted by staff who meet department-wide training standards.

Beth Williams, assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy, said the public safety organizations can use the latest version of the policy as a framework to develop their own drone programs and best practices as well as exercise responsible use of the technology. 

“UAS technology assists the department in protecting public safety and, most importantly, reduces risks to officers and the public,” Williams added.