By Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Police say they’ve received approval to use drones to photograph crash and crime scenes. But the agency is avoiding term “drones.”

The police agency announced Friday that the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized what it calls its Unmanned Aircraft System program. The announcement says the program “is not being implemented for surveillance purposes.”

ISP says aerial photographs taken from drones will cut down on the time highways are closed during investigations of major traffic crashes.

The Illinois State Police says it worked with lawmakers and civil rights groups to ensure privacy concerns were addressed.

The agency says it’s avoiding the word “drone” because “it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns, and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information.”

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