NYPD drones may fly during Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration

The NYPD is considering using drones during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, Chief of Department Terence Monahan said on Wednesday. 

The department’s drone program is still in its beginning stages with officials on Tuesday detailing plans to use the technology to help in emergency situations, investigations, and search and rescue operations. The NYPD has acquired 14 unmanned aircrafts. Some legal rights groups, including New York Civil Liberties Union and The Legal Aid Society, have voiced concerns over the program. 

"We’re not flying them over crowds," Monahan said during an appearance on "Good Day New York." "One of the things we’re thinking about doing is using them for New Year’s Eve this year. This way, we can monitor large crowds, the traffic flow."

Monahan added that the drones would be "on a tether" and used in a cordoned off area.

"They’re not going to be used to surveil people, they’re not going to be weaponized," he added. "This is to document and to look into areas that we would not be able to look into without their assistance."