FILE – In this July 11, 2018 file photo, s drone equipped with a thermal camera flies over the plants at the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources’ Jennings Environmental Education Center on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Slippery Rock, Pa. An aviation bill Congress is rushing to approve contains a little-noticed section that would give authorities the power to track, intercept and destroy drones they consider a security threat, without needing a judge’s approval. Supporters say law enforcement needs this power to protect Americans from terrorists who are learning how to use drones as deadly weapons. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Are you practicing proper social distancing?
If not, the flying robots may be coming for you.
Especially if you live in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Jersey’s fourth most populous city’s employed a novel kind of assistance in its effort to make sure everyone’s staying apart.
As reported by NBC New York Wednesday, Elizabeth’s let loose a fleet of drones.
And not only might they find you, but if they do, they’ve got something to say.
On Tuesday, five of the ‘bots began to speak.
During Mayor Chris Bollwage daily COVID-19 Updates, he mentioned the Elizabeth Police Department implementing drones around the City of Elizabeth to help combat people not following social distancing.We have been using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) since 2018, however, the new models are equipped with voice capabilities. We were able to secure 5 DJI Mavic 2 UAV, on loan through DJI's Public Safety Disaster Relief Program – thank you to Wayne Baker, the DJI Director of Public Safety Integration. These drones will be around the City with an automated message from the Mayor telling you to STOP gathering, disperse and go home. Summonses HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE to be issued to those found in violation. Fines are up to $1000. You have been advised.
Posted by Elizabeth Police Department on Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Flying above popular public spots, the motorized monitors will bark at anyone down below — ordering them to stop what they’re doing.
And to get on home.
Just what we needed: the government nagging us.
As per a Facebook post by the Elizabeth Police Department, Mayor Chris Bollwage recently mentioned the machines amid his daily coronavirus updates.
To be clear, the cops have been “using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) since 2018.”
However, these are somethin’ special:
[T]he new models are equipped with voice capabilities. We were able to secure 5 DJI Mavic 2 UAV, on loan through DJI’s Public Safety Disaster Relief Program – thank you to Wayne Baker, the DJI Director of Public Safety Integration.
Yes — thank you for the airborne Big Brother.
It gets better: The messages the drones will be blaring are from the mayor himself:
These drones will be around the City with an automated message from the Mayor telling you to STOP gathering, disperse and go home.
Personally, I’d like it way better if they sounded like those Cylon things on Battlestar Galactica.
And in case you were wondering:
Summonses HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE to be issued to those found in violation.
Wait…wait…I’ve got one more, straight from the Facebook post:
Fines are up to $1000.
You have been advised.
There we go.
Meanwhile, as I covered previously, New York City is encouraging people to rat out their fellow residents for getting too close to one another.
In my opinion, this is overkill at best.
As for the drones, it looks as if Elizabeth may not be alone:
Authorities in Daytona Beach, Florida and Elizabeth City, New Jersey, are using drones to enforce physical distancing. pic.twitter.com/hTHX1v2O1m
— norizan sharif (@nobisha) April 8, 2020
Not good, America.
For goodness sake, take care of yourselves and practice social distancing, handwashing, and all the other things that will keep you and others healthy during this difficult time.
But just in spirit, if you’d like, join me in a bit of rebellion against flying voices telling us what to do:
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