By Mike Colgan

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Civil rights groups are calling for the city of San Jose to hold more hearings over the police department’s purchase of a drone, arguing that there should have been more public debate before it was purchased.

“Our concern is that the drone was purchased without it going through any kind of public process,” said Richard Kanda with the Asian Law Alliance. “It was on the consent calendar, but there was no opportunity for the public to voice any opinion, positive or negative, about the purchase.”

But San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed doesn’t see what the fuss is all about.

“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. The department has said they haven’t flown it and they’re not going to fly it until they get FAA approval and they have a community outreach to decide how it would actually be used and they will put some protocols in place,” Reed said.

But Kanda said he isn’t satisfied with this stance.

“I understand that. But I think the problem still is that they purchased it without any kind of public input,” he said. “I think the process should have been to allow the public to voice an opinion and then make a decision, yes purchase or no not purchase.”

The San Jose City Council Public Safety Committee is expected to take up the issue later this month.


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