The Lancaster City Counsel just approved a spy plane to conduct aerial surveillance over Lancaster ten hours per day and seven days per week. The images captured by the occupied plane will supposedly be transferred directly to the Sheriff’s Department and viewed by assigned deputies in the station.
Comments regarding the surveillance plane are mixed at best. Some residents, including the City Mayor, R. Rex Parris are happy about the crime fighting potential the plane may have. The ACLU has other concerns. Why should honest people who are not breaking the law be subjected to surveillance by the cops and to having their private activities subject to recording? I agree completely. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for having an air patrol, I just don’t want to be viewed and recorded.
The ACLU has already requested public records to get additional information about the program. No doubt they want to find out the capabilities of the plane and extent of the program in order to determine how much of a privacy violation it really is.
Other Lancaster residents fear the plane will be misused on certain people or in certain areas. The Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles County misuse resources? Never. Captain Jonsen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department commented that the plane will give his department the ability to “see what’s going on at the scene of a crime almost instantaneously.” How is that possible? Does Captain Jonsen or the pilot of the spy plane know when the next crime is going to occur in the city? Or the next accident?
If the idea of a manned spy plane in Lancaster offends you as much as it does me, please call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at:
Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
4700 Ramona Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Contact the Sheriff’s Department or your local police
- Complaints/ Commendations (800) 698-8255
- Questions (323) 267-4800
- News Media (323) 267-4800