As Brendan pointed out earlier, one of the most interesting questions at last night's off-the-hook drone forum was a very simple one: "Do we get to choose?"
Meaning: Do the people of Seattle get to have any say in whether—and how—police drones will be used in this city?
The answer from the police was that they're listening to community feedback, but that they're also going ahead with program, using guidelines for drone use that they've already developed and feel comfortable with. That is, unless the Seattle city council or the mayor tell them different. (The mayor, since he's ultimately in charge of the police department, could do this through an order. The council could do this through an ordinance.)
What does Mayor Mike McGinn think about all the drone anxiety? His spokesman, Aaron Pickus, says:
Unmanned aerial vehicles can be a helpful tool for our police force in difficult situations, like dealing with an armed standoff, helping find a kidnapped child or assisting in a man hunt. We have heard concerns about their use. We believe that a clear City policy, informed by concerns heard from the community and codified by ordinance, will support the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in a way that protects public safety, protects officer safety, and respects legitimate privacy concerns.
I read that as a mayoral endorsement of the idea that no drones will be used in Seattle until the Seattle City Council puts forward a law that describes what drones should—and should not—be doing.