Three years ago, Shawn Musgrave kicked off MuckRock’s first big FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) project - the Drone Census, which looked into how police departments across the country were approaching the idea of utilizing the tech as a law enforcement tool. Often, this turned out to be more theory than practice.
Though the Census tracked down drone use to departments as small as the Georgia Tech police, several towns were confused by project, and others outright resented the idea that they’d want anything to do with silly flying toys.
And then there was Brockton.
Two months after the initial request, Brockton Police Department responded with an email that was blank except for a single attachment, “drones.pdf.”
The document contained an photo of the BPD’s fleet in action …