Louisville waiting for FAA permission to use self-guided drones to fight gun violence

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city of Louisville wants to use technology to fight gun violence.

Officials have asked for federal permission to launch self-guided drones to collect video at the scene of gunfire reports coming from its Shot Spotter system.

Grace Simrall, Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology for Metro Louisville, said the drone Shot Spotter technology is still in the early stages and being tested.

"We are really looking at what public opinion is of our proposal, engaging the public, collecting their input and then collecting their feedback," she said.

Larry Watkins, a U.S. Air Force veteran who lives in the Algonquin neighborhood, said he likes the idea. His time in the military gives him some unique insight into how the technology would work.

"What they're going to provide is additional technology to the community, to west end Louisville, so we can provide safety to the people who live in west end Louisville," Watkins said.

"We need safety."

City officials met Tuesday for a status update and hope to have approval from the FAA by May. There will also be much more testing and a series of public meetings to get input.

"We would like to see how drones would give us another boost," Simrall said. "We think that that will again gain valuable minutes to responding to the scene."

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