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Johnson City Commission to Discuss Drone Program for City Employees

Johnson City Commission to Discuss Drone Program for City Employees

JOHNSON CITY, T.N. (WJHL)- It’s a technology widely spreading through out the region, the unmanned aircrafts known as “drones.” A tool, The Johnson City Commission is considering for city employees.

Leaders tell News Channel 11’s they have just started talking about getting drones for city employees. Right now, city leaders don’t know how much a drone program will cost but said many employees could find this a useful tool.

Mayor Tomita said the commission will have a presentation during Thursday’s meeting on how drones could be beneficial if used by city employees in the police department, fire department, public works and water and sewer services.

Danny Broyles has lived in Johnson City for nearly his entire life. He said he thinks the program would be an extra set of eyes for those departments.

“For surveying whatever is going on at the time, if it’s a fire or they are after someone that’s committed a crime,” Broyles said. “To check the area out quicker and to know how many people to send in or what to send in, I can see how that would be helpful.”

In order to fly a drone, city employees would have to have a certification for a licensed Remote Pilots for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

“It’s certainly something that’s not too overly burden to do or too expensive so I’m sure if we have to get a couple people licensed we can do that,” Tomita said.

Tomita said with drones being considered for the city, privacy is another issue they will be considering.

“We would certainly as a city not use them in any matter that would be a breach of anyone’s privacy,” Tomita said.

Broyles said while he supports the idea of city employees using drones, he is hopeful it won’t turn into a negative aspect.

Copyright WJHL 2018. All rights reserved.

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