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Police in Connecticut using drones to enforce social distancing guidelines


(NEWS 12/CNN) – A police department in Connecticut is employing a new tool to help enforce social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Westport Police Department is one of the first to field test drone software that was developed by the company Dragonfly.

“We’re probably looking at a repeat [of the coronavirus outbreak] in the fall, and possible seasonal. So we need to prepare ourselves in different ways,” said Chief Foti Koskinas. “I feel it would be a disservice to have tools at our disposal that we’re not using.”

The “flattening the curve” pilot program uses biometric readings from drones to track virus trouble spots and social distancing.

The drones will be flown over public spaces, issuing an audio warning to people who aren’t following the new rules.

“If they choose to not obey it will be followed by an officer responding,” Koskinas said.

Koskinas said the drones won’t have facial recognition software, and won’t fly over private property.

“We are not singling out any individual. We are not using any facial recognition,” said Koskinas.

The Connecticut ACLU says surveillance measures shouldn’t be used unless recommended by public health experts.


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