Paul D. Shinkman & Mark Segraves
April 30, 2012
WASHINGTON – Look up. Drones are “certainly” coming to the skies over the Beltway in the next few years, one area police chief says.
The use of drones in the D.C. area became public information last week, after the Federal Aviation Administration released a list  of agencies currently or previously permitted to use the unmanned aerial vehicles. It included many federal departments, such as Agriculture, Homeland Security and Energy as well as local organizations such as Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.
Soon, the Fairfax County Police Department may be added to that list.
“Drones will certainly have a purpose and a reason to be in this region in the next, coming years,” said Fairfax County Police Chief David Rohrer, while speaking on WTOP’s “Ask the Chief” program on Monday. “Just as a standpoint as an alternative for spotting traffic and sending information back to our VDOT Smart Traffic centers, and being able to observe backups.”
The use of drones over U.S. soil has some in Congress concerned about Americans’ privacy rights.