Santa Monica, CA Police Department Drone Documents

Drone Watch filed this request with the Santa Monica Police Department of Santa Monica, CA.
Est. Completion None
No Responsive Documents


From: Drone Watch

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California's Sunshine Amendment (Cal. Const. Art. I, § 3(b)), I hereby request the following records:

1. any requests for proposals, proposals submitted by vendors, contracts, budgets or cost allocations for the purchase and/or use of aerial drones, UAs, UAVs, and UASs (hereinafter “drones”);

2. any policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on department use of drones, including on the legal process required (such as a warrant or court order), if any, before operating a drone;

3. any departmental records concerning this department’s use of drones now or plans to use drones in the future including:

a. the types of investigations or instances in which this department is using or plans to use drones, or how it plans to support, manage or oversee the usage of drones by another department or office;

b. policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on storage requirements or procedures for video or static images obtained through use of drones, including retention times;

c. the altitude at which drones can or do fly;

d. drones’ ability to carry weapons.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Cyrus Farivar

From: Brigette Garay

Dear Mr. Farivar:

Pursuant to your Public Records Act request received July 12, 2012, the City of Santa Monica responds as follows. To evaluate a Public Records Act request under the California Public Records Act, California Government §§6250 et seq., the threshold question is whether the document is a public record subject to disclosure governed by Government Code §§6254 et seq. and §6255.

Your request seeks records concerning the Santa Monica Police Department's use of aerial drones. The City of Santa Monica, including the Santa Monica Police Department, does not have any records that are responsive to your request. The City does not use drones and there are no current plans to use them in the future.

The City will provide reasonable access to any documents which are readily identifiable and available for disclosure if any exist. Gov. Code §6253.1 and §6254 (k).

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



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