Police officials in the San Francisco Bay Area are in the process of acquiring their own drones to assist in airborne surveillance, crowd control, and search-and-rescue missions, according to the San Francisco Chronicle
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is leading the charge for the drones in part to help reduce crime in Oakland, a city with one of the highest crime rates in the country.
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Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said, “If they're used to assist us in fighting crime, locating hazardous materials, search-and-rescue efforts and catching the bad guys, I have no problem using them.”
The sheriff's department has requested around $30,000 to purchase the first drone. But the request has yet to be approved by the county board of supervisors, which is under pressure from some in the Berkeley area and the American Civil Liberties Union to deny funding for the program.
According to the Chronicle, the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission has proposed the establishment of a "No Drone Zone" over the immediate area in protest.
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