Sheriff To Test Drone for Crimefighting 

Sheriff To Test Drone for Crimefighting 
Posted by CN Staff on June 19, 2006 at 18:15:48 PT
By Jeremiah Marquez, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press
Los Angeles -- This could be the shape of things to come in crimefighting. In the months ahead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will test an unmanned, remote-controlled surveillance plane.If deputies want a birds'-eye view of a standoff, they might scramble the unmanned drone instead of a helicopter to get a closer, quieter look. Within minutes, real-time color video would be streamed to a portable computer system manned by an officer 250 feet below.
Officials with the nation's largest sheriff's department said it is believed to be the first field test of drones by local police in a major U.S. urban area.Much lighter and smaller than the military drones flown over Iraq and Afghanistan, and only a fraction of the cost, the aircraft is not much bigger than a model airplane and will initially be limited to scanning rooftops for break-ins and finding lost children or hikers.Depending on the outcome of the tests, the department could eventually put as many as 20 of the aircraft into service, expanding their use to searching for suspects on the run and monitoring hostage situations, among other things. The drones would be used in addition to the sheriff's fleet of 18 helicopters."We're really beyond the cutting edge," said sheriff's Cmdr. Sid Heal, who heads the department's technology exploration project. "We think this has great potential."So do police and security officials nationwide. The federal Department of Homeland Security has used unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to patrol the seas and spot illegal border crossings. President Bush is pushing Congress to provide funding for more drones to step up surveillance along the Mexican border.Elsewhere, police in Gaston County, N.C., said earlier this year they would use a drone to find drug fields and keep large community events peaceful. Sheriff's officials in Charles County, Md., tested an unmanned plane while monitoring a gathering of bikers.Where authorities see a novel law enforcement tool, others worry about intrusive government surveillance.If a plane is used to gain evidence that police would otherwise need a search warrant to collect, that could infringe on privacy rights, according to law professor Charles Whitebread of the University of Southern California.In a 2001 case, the U.S. Supreme Court found that federal agents had carried out an illegal search in violation of the Fourth Amendment when they used thermal imaging equipment to spot marijuana grown inside a private home.Heal said the Sheriff's Department has no plans to spy on people. He said the unmanned planes would not give deputies that much more surveillance capability than helicopters.One drone costs $20,000 to $30,000. In contrast, a helicopter and the necessary fuel, maintenance and manpower cost millions.The sheriff's helicopters are often involved in other calls and unavailable for emergency use. Helicopters also make so much noise that SWAT teams have been known to order them away because they interfered with ground communications.In the past two years, the Sheriff's Department has teamed with Octatron Inc. of La Verne, Calif., to develop the SkySeer, a five-pound UAV powered by replaceable battery that lasts about 70 minutes. It has aluminum and nylon fabric wings atop a Kevlar fuselage.With a top speed of just under 29 mph, the unmanned plane is too slow for car chases.Equipped with an infrared sensor, it can operate at night to help find people lost in cold, mountainous areas. About 6 1/2 feet wide and almost 3 feet long, the plane can be folded easily into a tube small enough to fit in the back seat of a squad car.Last week, sheriff's officials demonstrated the UAV in an abandoned field. A deputy on the ground adjusted coordinates on a laptop that beamed a signal to the plane's global positioning system. Soon, the drone was circling in a holding pattern. Another screen showed real-time, color images fed from above.Landing proved tricky. As officials attempted to bring it down, the plane suddenly nose-dived into the ground and crashed."Everything works in the lab," Heal joked.Note: Los Angeles sheriff's dept. to test out unmanned drone for crimefighting.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Jeremiah Marquez, Associated Press Writer Published: June 19, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Associated Press CannabisNews Surveillance Archives
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on June 22, 2006 at 07:58:33 PT
Penile plethysmography testing 
 "There is a line at which the government must stop. Penile plethysmography testing crosses it."Why the heck aren't blood, urine, slobber, and pulling your hair out or cutting it to test it with chemicals and microscopes "crossing the line"? A "line at which the government must stop." That line should be set back a whole lot further than where it is now.If a "search" passes your's invasive and unreasonable.
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Comment #8 posted by whig on June 21, 2006 at 23:09:01 PT
Shades of Clockwork Orange.
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Comment #7 posted by b4daylight on June 21, 2006 at 23:04:36 PT
He just had porn on the puter no signs of abuse.still wrong but penial shock??U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Arousal Test for Sex Offender
By Tanya Caldwell, Times Staff Writer
June 21, 2006A periodic test that measures a man's response to erotic images is "Orwellian" because it examines his mind, not just his body, and should not be used because it deprives him of more freedom than necessary, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.In order to be released from prison, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson had ruled in 2001, Matthew Weber would have to subject himself to tests in which a pressure-sensitive electronic device is placed around the penis and the response to stimulating images is monitored, said his lawyer, Jonathan Libby.ADVERTISEMENT
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Weber was charged with possessing child pornography on his computer, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release. But he objected to the penile plethysmograph test, which has been used as part of sex offender treatment programs.The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him, saying the test would deprive Weber of his liberty more than "was reasonably necessary."In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel vacated Pregerson's judgment Tuesday and sent Weber's case back to District Court.The test was developed by Czech psychiatrist Kurt Freund to study sexual deviance, but it was eventually used by the Czechoslovakian government to find and "cure" homosexuals, the appellate court opinion said, citing David M. Friedman's 2001 book, "A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis."Weber, who was charged and convicted after a repair shop found child porn on his computer, argued that the test should be reserved for people who had molested children or tried to do so. The government countered that actual assault isn't a requirement for the test.Libby said the test is typically tied in with treatment programs for sex offenders when they are sentenced. And every time they are, Libby and the other lawyers on his team object.Proponents of the test have argued that its helps in sex-offender treatment programs, which could also include lie-detector testing and psychiatric medication. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, said the ruling "will have no effect on our aggressive enforcement program."But critics, including the American Psychiatric Assn., have called the test unreliable, according to the appellate court's opinion.Libby said Tuesday's ruling doesn't outlaw the test, but he added that 9th Circuit Judge John Noonan's written concurrence in the ruling suggested that could happen eventually.Noonan called the test Orwellian because it would not only measure Weber's genitalia but also probe his "innermost thoughts as well.""A prisoner should not be compelled to stimulate himself sexually in order for the government to get a sense of his current proclivities," Noonan wrote in his concurrence with Judge Marsha Berzon's opinion. "There is a line at which the government must stop. Penile plethysmography testing crosses it." 
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on June 20, 2006 at 11:09:23 PT
re: comment #4 off topic
The rude pundit is indeed rude and his statements can distasteful but, he is usually also right on the mark, as he was in this latest installment.The bodies of the missing soldiers have turned up with signs of "barbaric torture". Now what can be said? They're torture exceeds the barbarism of our torture?When you stoop to meet the lowest common denominator it doesn't place you on very firm ground from which to complain or garner sympathy. We have really hurt our country with this debacle of Iraq.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 20, 2006 at 07:10:15 PT
Thank you for the correction. I realized I didn't spell levee right either the other day. The english language is so darn confusing sometimes.
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Comment #4 posted by whig on June 19, 2006 at 23:36:50 PT
OT: Rude Pundit
He has a way with words, he does. be disturbing to some readers.
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Comment #3 posted by whig on June 19, 2006 at 23:07:57 PT
Sorry for the correction, FoM, it's called Martial Law not Marshall. I was a little confused because I thought of the Marshall Plan when you said that.But we're already in Martial Law quasi-officially since the president has claimed domestic authority under the commander-in-chief clause (to justify warrantless wiretaps, suspension of habeas corpus, etc.)
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on June 19, 2006 at 22:46:05 PT
New Age weapon announced....
New Age weapon announced....posted Fri, June 10, 2005"Israel has just announced the development of a new low frequency weapon that will be used for crowd control. It's no longer in development. It's here. "It's the first time such kinds of energy weapons have been used to control the masses."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 19, 2006 at 22:35:08 PT
About This Article
I remember not too many years ago on the political board of I posted an article about how they were practicing how to operate after Marshall Law was activated. One person said that will never happen in America. Well the times they are a changin.The night has a thousand eyesand a thousand eyes can't help but see.
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