CPD launched secret drone program with off-the-books cash

The Chicago Police Department started a secretive drone program using off-budget cash to pay for the new technology, the Sun-Times has learned.

Details of the police department’s drone program were included in an email sent last summer by Karen Conway, director of police research and development. In the email, Conway told other high-ranking police officials that the department’s counter-terrorism bureau “utilized 1505 funds for a pilot Drone program that operates within the parameters of current laws.”

The drones “have been purchased and the Electronic & Technical Support Unit (Counter-terrorism) is in the process of creating a training to start a pilot. Some of the Drone uses will be for missing persons, crime scene photos, and terrorist related issues,” Conway said in the June 12, 2020, email to former Deputy Supt. Barbara West and Michele Morris, the department’s risk manager. Read More

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