Photo Credit: Steve Gregory

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A pair of aerial drones obtained by the Los Angeles  Police Department could be used during ``tactical events'' such as manhunts and  standoffs, Police Chief Charlie Beck said today, adding that he wants proof of  their usefulness before deploying them.

``All of you have watched standoffs, perimeters, suspects hiding --  we're interested in those applications,'' Beck said during a news conference at  LAPD headquarters.

The department plans to work closely with the American Civil Liberties  Union to ensure the drones would not infringe on individual privacy rights,  Beck said.

``I will not sacrifice public trust for a piece of police equipment,''  he said.

The department received the Draganflyer X6 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles last  week -- at no cost to the city -- from the Seattle Police Department, which  purchased them using federal grants.

Beck defended the LAPD taking the drones, saying such devices are  already ``in the hands of private citizens,'' businesses and sports teams.

``When retailers start talking about using them to deliver packages, we  would be silly not to at least have a discussion of whether we want to use them  in law enforcement,'' Beck said.

Online retailer recently announced it is flight-testing  drones to possibly use them for deliveries.

``We would be foolish not to look at these systems and to see if in fact  they can make a positive impact on public safety without eroding public  trust,'' he said.

Beck said he is ``in absolutely no hurry whatsoever to deploy these  instruments,'' which will first undergo a ``vetting process'' before they would  be used, Beck said.

The drones are being kept at an undisclosed federal law enforcement  facility ``pending review by the LAPD and the Board of Police Commissioners, as  well as the public,'' according to the LAPD.

A certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration must be obtained  by the department before the aircraft can be used, and that application process  is in the very preliminary stages, police said last week.