It has officially begun. The use of drones in California law enforcement. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced Thursday that his agency will begin to utilize drones in their police work. He assured the public that these drones will not be used for general surveillance but instead used to surveil possible arson sites, bomb threats and hostage situations.

The use of drone technology by law enforcement agencies causes concern among many including civil liberties organizations. LA Sheriff Department officials did not use the word ‘drone’ during their announcement but instead praised the possible benefits of the $10,000 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The dangers of law enforcement can never be eliminated,” he said. “However, this technology can assist us in reducing the impact of risks on personnel.”