The first hints of flying drones in metro Atlanta

Earlier this week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stirred up the libertarian wing of the Republican party with this pronouncement:

WASHINGTON – Police drones flying over Virginia would be “great” and “the right thing to do” for the same reasons they are so effective in a battlefield environment, the state’s chief executive said Tuesday….

McDonnell, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, says he is open to any technology that makes law enforcement more productive.

Which raises an obvious question: Which law enforcement agency in Georgia will be the first to pursue drone technology, and what will it be used for?

Like McDonnell, Gov. Nathan Deal apparently has no qualms.

Late last year, the Georgia State Patrol applied to a private company, AV Aerovironment, to become part of a research and development project that involved a small drone helicopter for use by tactical weapons teams, GSP spokesman Gordy Wright confirmed.

In this case, the drone — called the Qube — was about the size of a sheet of paper with four propellers, and would have been used to for aerial surveillance in SWAT situations,” Wright said. “It saves having to bring in a big Huey.” Have a look:

Investigation of interstate traffic accidents might have been another use, Wright said. But the company rejected the application, and for now, ground-hugging robots will have to peek for gunmen hiding behind metro Atlanta dumpsters.

Georgia Tech already has FAA authorization to operate drones for research purposes in Menlo, Ga., near the Alabama border.

But the Georgia Tech police department and its office of economic preparedness recently submitted an additional FAA application for permission to use a drone aircraft. “That request was intended to help monitor football traffic,” said Tech spokesman Matthew Nagel. “It was denied.”

When it comes to drones, Saturday football traffic can be much different than Monday commuter traffic.

So there’s no doubt. The will is there. It’s just a matter of time and money before something mechanical and unmanned is buzzing over your head.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

58 comments Add your comment

SAWB

May 31st, 2012
5:34 pm

Can’t wait to see these flying over rural Georgia during deer season?

Wendell

May 31st, 2012
5:34 pm

Send Chris “C-VIV” Vivalmore on the next drone north to Canada!

Bring back the Thrashers.

td

May 31st, 2012
5:41 pm

They need to put them on the Mexican border first armed.

td

May 31st, 2012
5:42 pm

The first person to shoot one down will become a folk hero in this state.

Kris

May 31st, 2012
5:44 pm

The fact that double dip Deal is not apposed to it….It cannot be good for the tax payers of GA…Wonder what his cut of the action is $$$ , $$$$$$$. For the first question to watch the republicans while they are doing business on the golf course. Double dip Deal and the GOP never
met a tax or law they could make money on.

Matt

May 31st, 2012
5:45 pm

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

Auntie Christ

May 31st, 2012
5:46 pm

The first person to shoot one down will become a folk hero in this state.

My god, there’s an ice storm rocking hell right now!! I agree with td.

Auntie Christ

May 31st, 2012
5:51 pm

Matt, that is so quaint. I’m old enough to remember when that was actually the law of the land, before we had to sacrifice our freedom to fight the “drug war” and the “terrists.” Our progeny will some day curse us for allowing this kind of crap without a fight.

Patrick Henry

May 31st, 2012
6:13 pm

The TSA Blows.

The Department of Homeland “Security” Slurps.

George W. Bush is a buffoon for implementing DHS.

0bama JiveTalker is a socialist buffoon for strengthening DHS.

Patrick Henry

May 31st, 2012
6:15 pm

The ONLY good & beneficial use of drones in Georgia would be to spy on naked chicks.

Otherwise, drones belong in Hell…

…spying on Ted Kennedy.

Faaarrr Right

May 31st, 2012
6:18 pm

FLASH! John (The Righteous One) Edwards, beat the rap! he’s not charged and is free to go. Geez. I’m shocked! After all, what did he do that was so wrong? So un-Democrat? having a “love child” with his mistress all the while his wife was dying of cancer? a Fine, upstanding guy, AND, of course, a perfect DEMOCRAT!

Just Wait

May 31st, 2012
6:20 pm

Just in case anyone is worried about this technology, take a walk outside, look up and smile. Click, satellite picture!

td

May 31st, 2012
6:24 pm

Auntie Christ

May 31st, 2012
5:46 pm

The first person to shoot one down will become a folk hero in this state.

My god, there’s an ice storm rocking hell right now!! I agree with td.

LMAO!!!!

Honkie

May 31st, 2012
6:24 pm

I hunt in the area they are flying these things….I eat what I kill…What would a “Drone” taste like???? Chicken???

Kris

May 31st, 2012
6:27 pm

Its HERE….
Eye in the Sky is a 1982 album by The Alan Parsons Project.
Public privacy be dammed..

WOW

May 31st, 2012
6:28 pm

I have to say that I agree with TD as well. Jim this must mean something is wrong with your post….

Going Right

May 31st, 2012
6:28 pm

I was wondering…if bin Obama is going to prevail on November 6th (GOD FORBID!), who is he then going to blame for “inheriting a bad economy?” Alas, poor George Bush! He will be blamed for psoriasis, incontinence, tornadoes, and, of course, the economy that bin Obama has inherited from his brain-dead predecessor from 2008-2012. I say, we should – for just a few days – claim that bin Obama is a Republican so that the mess he’s carrying over to the “Second Coming” can be blamed on those nasty, rich, white, WASP Republicans! Case solved. Uh, can we now get back to Solyndra?

Hooboy

May 31st, 2012
6:35 pm

Good. Damn thing better deliver tacos is all I’m saying. Mmmmmm….tacos.

BIg Hat

May 31st, 2012
6:37 pm

Drones are people too, my friend.

BD

May 31st, 2012
6:53 pm

That was the biggest damn crow I’ve ever seen. It took both barrels to bring it down!

PM

May 31st, 2012
7:01 pm

Step 1, shoot it down. Step 2, drag the carcass to a metal recycler. Step 3, Profit!

MikeB

May 31st, 2012
7:13 pm

Its going to happen…… Its how it happens that matters……
Any agency that desires drone technology, should first explain to citizens in a public forum, how these devices will aid/improve “productivity”.

Seems to me that “productivity” means alot of different things depending on ones perspective…….. Public sector private industry productivity is much different than municipal agency productivity. Detailed explanations are required…… Remember Traffic signal camera’s??? Revenue generation devices or public saftey devices???

S

May 31st, 2012
7:15 pm

It will take many years if ever to work through Bush’s failed policy’s, so yes we will still be able to blame G.W.Bush for many years to come. Solyndra, well, the Bush administration also gave Solyndra millions of $’s..so yea we can blame W for that as well.

CBGB

May 31st, 2012
7:34 pm

For traffic situations? Yeah right. These drones are designed to spy on us. But they will make for very nice target practice. And every single Democracy loving, freedom loving, America loving person should take a shot at one if they see them. Then vote out ANYBODY who approves this sort of surveillance on private American citizens.

Todd

May 31st, 2012
7:45 pm

We need them in the legislature watching for gifts.

Auntie Christ

May 31st, 2012
7:47 pm

Far t right: you’re off topic but since you bring up “having a “love child” with his mistress all the while his wife was dying of cancer? a Fine, upstanding guy, AND, of course, a perfect DEMOCRAT!”

Perfectly fair criticism, doesn’t say much for his character, but the sex wasn’t with a prostitute who dressed him in a diaper ala david vintner (R) LA. It wasn’t with his best friend’s wife, who was then paid off to keep quiet ala john ensign (R) AZ; it wasn’t done trolling for men in an airport bathroom ala “I;m not gay” larry craig (R) IA; it wasn’t with congressional pages ala “okay I’m gay” mark foley (R) FL; it wasn’t covered up by another senator ala tom coburn (R) OK (you know like ensign a ‘good christian’ man). And I’ll save you the trouble or rebuttal by mentioning Bill Clinton myself, not exactly a paragon of virtue, but he and Edwards rate only honorable mention in this sleaze ball Parthenon dominated by repubs.

Kris

May 31st, 2012
8:07 pm

Another record for the citizens of GA to be proud of. GA is ranked number 2 where a police stop results in a ticket. Remember the Bear in the Air (AKA Barney). Now its robot Barney. Vote the GOP out and impeach Deal for liking this.
Public safety be dammed….its all about revenue.

LeRoy

May 31st, 2012
8:10 pm

If Obama is for it, the tone of some will abruptly change.

AnotherFormerGeorgian

May 31st, 2012
8:30 pm

But if they flew around launching missiles at gangbangers and other such undesirables, then you’d have to be fer ‘em, wouldn’t you?

Gen. Admission

May 31st, 2012
8:53 pm

Arm it and have it fly over all the hair weave and high end jeans stores. Knock out the gang bangers and clean up this city once and for all!

Being honest

May 31st, 2012
8:55 pm

Hey Faaarrr Right… this brings back memories of Newt to me.

Chipper Doodle

May 31st, 2012
9:02 pm

I’m not really sure who is the craziest marginal on this thread.

Jeff Sexton

May 31st, 2012
9:17 pm

Yo GOP, still think we don’t live in a police state? Stalin would be proud!

Honest Jane

May 31st, 2012
9:19 pm

Bring the drones, and the nerds will bring the hacks – look at Iran :P

gimmeabreak

May 31st, 2012
9:33 pm

There is no expectation of privacy in public, no matter the altitude. Read the law people, this is why the police are aloud to use electronics to read thousands of license plates while driving on the highway or cruising a parking lot. The computer beeps every time it finds a wanted person. True stuff, look it up. How is that different than scanning from above. Also, if your loved one was being held hostage you would not question the legality of their use. You would want two of them.

Tommy

May 31st, 2012
9:40 pm

Hey man, like they are already flying these things overs us man… Like the other day I was looking up in the sky and I saw this thing fly over and like I said to my friend like hey man, did you see that ? and he said like see what man ? and i said that thing and he said like no man, I didn’t see it. But I kno it was there man…. I ain’t crazy…

Thomas

May 31st, 2012
9:42 pm

The Founders of this country did not intend for a police state but we continue to flow in that direction.

Jane

May 31st, 2012
9:43 pm

so what? if they buy the cheapest available like the government usually does, they will fall out of the sky and give people concussions. we have enough useless drones in Georgia already IMHO

Nobody of Importance

May 31st, 2012
9:51 pm

We need to reduce, rather than expand the militarization of our police forces. The mandate to protect and serve has gotten way out of hand.

Instead of buying drones, how about just putting more police on the street corners where crack and meth dealers peddle their wares?

ramblin' gamblin' engineer

May 31st, 2012
10:08 pm

Amen, Wendell. Go LA Kings!

NOW I'M SCARED

May 31st, 2012
10:12 pm

Like a drone is going to stop crime, people shoot cops all the time, this machine is suppose to scare someone. It will probably just incrimenate some poor innocent man.

anonymous >:)

May 31st, 2012
10:15 pm

I can’t wait to hack into it and fly it straight into some congressmens house baaaah!!

Ronald Millsaps

May 31st, 2012
10:33 pm

I just re-read the blog posts from the February 29 blog, which concerned abortion. Again, as you would expect, here came the left-wing, unsubstantiated, prejudiced nonsense. One guy calling himself “black conservative”, who really is a liberal who hates black people and needs to be isolated from society, said abortion wasn’t a real issue. Another was a Thomas Paine-ite irreverently calling himself “lefty_316″, claiming that life didn’t begin until a baby was able to provide for himself—-which would make no one a human until age 16. Again, typical left-wing, infuriating nonsense. This individual nonsensically and ambiguously-enough-to-mislead-given-society’s-teamwork-of-his-nonsense— threw around the term “religion” in an incorrect connotation—-as if any belief is not religious and as if “Separation of Church and State” means what liberals say it does. He had the audacity to promote logic, reason, and science as if he demonstrated any of the three. He was definitely a Paine-ite, who spoke of “reason” but showed absolutely none of it.

Those in the know, speak up! Tolerance of evil is the accomplice thereof.

Ronald Millsaps

May 31st, 2012
10:35 pm

“auntie”– Get a new ID.

Folks, search and watch “Jesse Ventura conspiracy theory full episode banned” on youtube. Get prepared. Be armed and ready. I am.

brock

May 31st, 2012
10:45 pm

How is this different than law enforcement using conventional aircraft? It’s not, except it costs less state funds. Same w/ cameras as opposed to live cops in public places.

Gimmeabreak makes a good point about what a reasonable expectation of privacy is all about. If there is such fear about drones looking at you, stay at home and pull the blinds.

Paranoia is just ego run amok. Most of you are much less interesting to the authorities than you think you are.

anonymous >:)

May 31st, 2012
11:02 pm

I don’t think anyone is paranoid. I dont think anyone gives a damn about some drones, it’s more so the expansion of government. Let those @ss holes get a real job make congress part-time. Hell that’s about equivelent to the amount of work they get done.

Question Man

May 31st, 2012
11:24 pm

Did you cut and paste this piece from The Onion?

Kris

May 31st, 2012
11:27 pm

The reason for this is that the public, has been willing to partake in this fad of thinking it’s so good and wonderful to trade freedom for safety and health. Hogwash Somebody needs to Police the police.

Slowly , a little at a time. creep, creep …Handcuffs.

Vexorg

May 31st, 2012
11:42 pm

What people FAIL to realize, is that “Crime Fighting” in this country is a damn sorry joke. The Courts, The Lawyers, and The Legislature are all in it for one thing – MONEY.

Ask any beat cop how fast a crook can bond out of Fulton, Dekalb, and Clayton County Jail; they’ll give you the answer…before the report on the arrest is finished.

The fool’s answer is “we need MORE cops on the street”, yes, in some areas of Metro there are plenty of cops that don’t have adequate backup if things turn into S__T. However, the same people that are screaming for MORE COPS! MORE COPS! are NOT willing to pay higher taxes necessary to HIRE those cops….

And then, there are those same MUCKRAKERS in the press, eagerly awaiting to ruin an officer’s career and inflame the “civil rights” poverty pimps, with ANY allegation of abuse by an officer trying to perform their duties and actually clean up some of the most crime infested areas in the Metro.

My advice to any LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN….purchase a firearm, take classes to properly use it, and obtain a concealed carry permit….because when seconds count, the police are minutes away and the courts are ready to crucify a citizen exercising their right to self defend themselves.

Edward Ruffin

June 1st, 2012
7:21 am

The money that will be wasted on trying to spot traffic violators would be better spent on boots on the ground to stop the real thugs like home invaders, robbers, car jackers.