San Jose, CA approves drone purchase by police with no public input

From the ACLU of Northern California: "The San Jose City Council has approved a police request to acquire a drone – without public debate – illustrating the surreptitious way in which local law enforcement agencies have obtained sophisticated surveillance technology since 9/11."

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  1. I can't wait until some garage-techie maker creates a simple and inexpensive drone that zeroes in on and takes out what is sure to be a very expensive drone.

    Makes me wish my local law enforcement would buy themselves a drone.


  3. hooray, glad my tax dollars are hard at work. a-holes.

  4. Apparently if you up-armor a bandwagon, any authoritarian will jump on it.

  5. Forgot to post this: The info about Seattle having drones that was included in my previously attached article is only half right. They only used to have drones.

    It turns out that due to public outcry, Seattle didn't get to keep, or use, their toys. They sat on a shelf instead, so now they're in Los Angeles. The LAPD just bought 'em. Apparently, the LAPD will be happy to discuss their use with the public - now that they already have them.

    People in L.A. are already angry about police presence in the sky - we have too many copters, and they fly way too low. I don't live in L.A. city, but in Long Beach (L.A.'s stepchild border beach city with Orange County), and in my area we're pretty sure that they only trot out the ghetto birds as often as they do just to remind us they have them and keep the pilots certified. Regular flyovers are a normal thing in areas that really shouldn't see that much air support.

    If the LAPD has drones, the LBPD will have access, and that's not a happy thing for me. Considering the fact that manned police air vehicles are already IMO overused, I don't look forward to drones, which will allow cut costs, and smaller vehicles - so fewer late night complaints from residents - an excuse for even greater police presence in the sky. Also, we already have a lot of air traffic in Long Beach - not just large jets, but small private planes from our local airport, and drones do pose a real flight risk for planes flying coastally.

    Departments are going about this all wrong. They should be writing guidelines and getting public approval of those use guidelines well before purchase. They're putting the cart before the horse and stepping on people's privacy and possibly safety (thanks to our airport and coastal location).

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