San Diego Sheriff's Department Quietly Launches Drone Program

San Diego Sheriff Launches Drone Program

Drones are aiming law enforcement official to help communities and solve emergency situations more efficiently and faster.

In September, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department began a one-year pilot program that includes four camera-equipped drones.

After a man poured gasoline on himself, a better and closer look with a drone helped a SWAT team in developing a tactical plan before approaching the suspect. The UAS deployed by the Sheriff's Department, who began the one-year pilot program in September.

Early this year, the Sheriff informed the ACLU that they department was considering a drone program. The ACLU look for help from the public and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, which controls the Sheriff’s Department budget.

“As the experiences of other communities show, purchasing without adequate transparency and debate both undermines democratic principles and risks harm to public trust in law enforcement,” wrote Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, in a Feb. 10 letter to the Sheriff’s Department that the ACLU provided to Voice of San Diego.

All the drones that will be used for the program will include camera, but they won't be armed. The main goal of the inclusion of drones into the Sherrif's Department is to have a better vision of crime scenes.

Some states and local governments have include the restrictions of drone into the law, but San Diego's county hasn't passed any rules that regulates the use of police drones.


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