West Hollywood has its eye on a major upgrade to the city’s public safety arsenal.
As part of a five-year plan to “pilot advanced technologies” in public safety, City Staff is proposing that drones be used to help the Sheriff’s Department patrol WeHo’s streets and skies similar to today’s helicopters.
City Hall cites Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, and Chula Vista as examples of cities that have integrated drone technology into public safety through “drone as first responder” (DFR) programs, which provide aerial views of incidents and other airborne support to police operations.
The staff report reads:
The drones are not used for surveillance but rather, are deployed in response to a 911 call for service. Because drones can be deployed very quickly, they can often arrive to the scene before law enforcement officers. They can enhance the officers’ operational abilities to see the conditions on the ground when a radio call comes in and to prepare officers for what to expect when they arrive. DFR has demonstrated the ability to increase officer and community safety by reducing overall police response times and providing information to potentially de-escalate emergency situations. Drones may be used in a similar way to how helicopters are used, but the drones can respond more quickly to more situations at a much lower cost and with less of an impact in terms of noise.
Examples scenarios include providing an overhead view of an area or incident for ground personnel, safely clearing
the interior of buildings, providing detailed documentation of crime and accident scenes, searching for lost or missing persons and disaster readiness and response.
A draft of the plan, which was requested by City Council, will be presented to them at Monday night’s meeting. Staff were asked to explore the cost and procedure of updating the technology on city-owned properties and upgrading security cameras and other safety features, including sidewalk facing security cameras and more cameras at intersections. An ALPR (automated license plate reading) camera is currently installed at the intersection of Santa
Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. LASD’s Detective Bureau can check the date, time, and location to search vehicles that match a specific description.
In the past, drone usage has mired law enforcement agencies in legal quagmires and landed cities in the hot seat with their citizens and privacy watchdogs.
New York, Chula Vista, Calif., Newark, N.J. and Beaumont, Texas, have all faced lawsuits by various civil liberties unions claiming they did not obtain warrants or permits, conduct environmental reviews and/or notify the public properly before using drones. Most settled out of court.
Drones also present a novel way for hackers to prey on the public. Cameras on some drones are powerful enough to capture images from a computer or cell phone screen. A drone equipped with a Wi-Fi antenna can intercept Wi-Fi signals from a target’s network allowing access to information such as usernames, passwords, and other login credentials, or it could spoof GPS signals and cause the target’s devices to connect to a fake network, allowing the interception of sensitive information.
[…] Read More here: wehoville.com/2023/02/17/weho-wants-to-add-drones-to-its-law-enforcement-arsenal/ […]
People wont be happy until America becomes a complete surveillance state. But even then they still won’t be happy. Nobody knows how to take care of themselves anymore.
Maybe they will try balloons next..
They already have drones called code compliance officers. Programmed to protect businesses and gas leaf blowers. I wonder why parking enforcement officers are everywhere and when it comes to reporting to code nothing happens at all. Especially in relationship to rentals. If money was to be made from ticketing gas leaf blowers I’m sure there would be a special unit devoted to it. With Athens garbage trucks scouring the streets 6 days a week, 100s of gardeners with gas leaf blowers and other equipment, emergency vehicles, helicopters, flood lights and tree trimming. Drones will be an unwelcome addition to the… Read more »
Old fashioned cops on the beat with bloodhounds! West Hollywood could start a trend. Isn’t that what they yearn for?
“Drones are not just machines for surveilling, falling, and killing…but also for making piles of money for already wealthy people. With money, of course, comes power. The coziness between big business and our elected representatives mirrors the local levelwhere law enforcement’s own coziness with private contractors is questioned over their procurement of electronic surveillance equipment and body cameras. It’s clear that the development of drone technology is dynamized by a growing and global industrial complex that puts profit making above all concerns, at the expense of our privacy, safety, public resources, and human rights.
Some people need looking after.
To wit: all of the people encouraging more surveillance.
Drones are fine…….but adding to the police force is also needed.
Supervisor Lindsey Horvath acknowledged today how greatful she was that “law enforcement responded swiftly and responsibly”to the West LA shootings in the Jewish Community. “This is why a few weeks ago, I introduced a motion to begin the creation of a Jewish Community Plan for LA County in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department.”
Really Ms. Horvath! Seems like a 180 degree change from what you advocated in West Hollywood. Looks like a move to embrace the larger Jewish Community of LA County for support in future elections. Another blatant illustration of opportunism.
She’s an absolute disgrace.
Agreed. Having played a major roll in disrupting our WeHo law enforcement she seems to have handed it off to her political pal Sepi Shyne to further cause problems for the city.
Sepi is a x2 an absolute disgrace
From the same people who brought AI based autonomous drones to Iraq, Afghanistan and, Syria making them such great places to live and raise kids; we have the LA/West Hollywood drone version. Incase you haven’t kept up, LAPD already employs a vast assortment of high-tech spy equipment fully capable of hacking just about any network and retrieving the data they want. Their hunter-killer airborne drones are old news, there are robot attack dogs and full blown robocops well on the way ❗
We need to embrace the tools needed to help our police fight increasingly sophisticated criminals and crimes. However, we also need to ensure these new tools are not misused. Introducing this idea in doses may be the best right now. New laws will need to be put in place outlining boundaries such as, do we want them banned flying over private property? Should a warrant be obtained if there is a need for surveillance? The rules will be critical for public trust. Software should be developed so the public can access cost, training and operational data. An end of year… Read more »
Instead of polluting the sky with drones, why don’t they just use those little rolling robots that are all over West Hollywood now and turn them into crime-fighting, cannabis-delivering ninja robots? Now, that could work!
hey, as long as we don’t have to share the sidewalk with them like we do with scooters, E, bikes, delivery, robots, and out-zones, I’m all for them! Hopefully they’ll protect our public instead of endangering it!
Careful, Biden might shoot them down.