An unmanned drone may soon help Arlington, Texas police provide a watchful eye over the city.

Grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security brought the city’s first unmanned drone for the Super Bowl, but Arlington hopes to put it to use full time.

“The idea is provide an extra level of public safety for the city of Arlington,” City Councilman Robert Rivera said. “Anytime that we can utilize progressive methods to increase our level of public safety, that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re looking at.”

But the use of such drones has raised questions about privacy across the country.

“I fully support using them,” Mayor Robert Cluck said. “The police chief thinks they will be a huge advancement in public safety that will allow officers to view the entire city through aerial surveillance.”

“With terrorist attacks and everything else going on, I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” said Arlington resident Eric Vandervoort, who lives near Cowboys Stadium.

The drone could be used to help traffic-crash investigations and search-and-rescue missions.

The city is looking into finding funding to operate the drone, Cluck said.


By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.