The Brick Township Police Department is adding a drone to their force, and is training officers to pilot the machine.

The department used funds from the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s Comprehensive Traffic Safety Grant.

The drone will be equipped with a camera, and used in the following ways:

Search and Rescue: Missing persons investigations, Amber alerts, silver alerts, and other search-and-rescue missions.
Scene Documentation: To document a crash scene, a crime scene, or other major incident scene.
Situational Awareness: To assist decision-makers in understanding the nature, scale, and scope of an incident and for planning an effective response.
Visual Perspective: To provide an aerial visual perspective to assist law enforcement personnel in providing direction for crowd control, traffic incident management, special circumstances, and temporary perimeter security.
Tactical Deployment: To support the tactical deployment of law enforcement personnel and equipment in emergency situations.

According to Brick Patch, officers will still have to follow FAA rules regarding drones, as well as directives issued by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

The police department hopes to expand the use of the drone in the future, including having more officers licensed to use the drone, and adding night vision capabilities.

Drone in Flight
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I can't say I disagree with the scenarios the police describe above. It would be beneficial to have a drone involved in Search & Rescues; it would definitely help to get a perspective that officers on the ground can't get. Still, I'm just not the biggest fan of "Big Brother", just having eyes flying over my house bothers me. Yeah, I know I'm already likely being surveilled every other moment of the day from street cameras to satellites to GPS tracking my phone, but at least with those I can kind of ignore them since I don't see them. Watching a drone buzz around me would just feel like more of an invasion of privacy.

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