NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department has a new fleet of 14 drones.

The department said on Tuesday that the potential uses include search and rescue, hard-to-reach crime scenes, hostage situations, and hazardous material incidents.

It says drones, made by the company DJI, can reduce risk to officers and bystanders during a response to dangerous situations.


They'll be operated by 29 officers who are specially trained and licensed.

The NYPD says the drones won't be used for routine patrol or traffic enforcement and will not affect New Yorkers' privacy.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union says the NYPD's drone policy doesn't do enough to balance public privacy concerns with "legitimate law enforcement needs."

State police have already started deploying drones in their fleet, and the city fire department has drones which are tethered and used at the scene of fires.