GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department will hold a community meeting June 6 about its proposal to buy and use drones.
The meeting, described as an “informational meeting and listening session” in a release from the city, will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Lifequest Church at 1050 Fisk Road SE, north of Hall Street. It will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom and Office of Oversight and Public Accountability Director Brandon Davis will speak and then take questions.
Community members can ask questions in person, via Facebook or in advance by emailing GRPDinfo@grcity.us.
In March, Winstrom proposed buying six drones and training up to 10 officers to pilot them, which would cost about $100,000 initially.
Police in many other cities use drones, according to Winstrom.
“We’re kind of late to the party,” he said in March.
The idea has received pushback from community members, who have raised concerns about invasion of privacy.
Winstrom said the drones would not be used for surveillance.
For more information about the drone proposal, the GRPD’s March 28 presentation to the Public Safety Committee is available online.