Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office releases first drone use …

After a year of flying drones to fight crime and respond to emergencies, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has released its first report on their use.The release of this annual report is part of the Sheriff’s Office transparency policy. An agreement made when it reached out to the community on how it planned to use its ‘eyes-in-the-sky’.In 2019, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, launched drones 21 times.The 14 member team deployed them during search and rescue operations, suspect searches, documenting crime scenes and high risk incidents.”This not only benefits law enforcement. It benefits public safety as well. If we’re searching for someone or there’s a public safety crisis we could get eyes much higher than without a drone,” said, Ashley Keehn, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Spokesperson.The Sheriff’s Office has a dozen of these drones and they are positioned throughout Santa Cruz County Deputies even carry them in their vehicles so they can be deployed at a moment’s notice.But there is strict criteria on how they are used.”There’s been a number of times that our drone was requested for use and we’ve denied those because they fall outside the policy whether that be for some sort of unplanned random surveillance or videoing protests. We don’t do that!” said Keehn.Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills is working with the city and community on drawing up a policy for the use of drones and other technology by his department.Finding the balance between transparency for predictive analytics, facial recognition and technology is delicate.City leaders are currently reluctant to use these tools because there may be bias associated with them.”The mayor asked us to take it back work with the ACLU and other folks, other community members to determine what that should look like … and so we’re suggesting a policy as well as sending it back to public safety committee to take a look at the edits we had made,” said Mills.The Santa Cruz City proposal is scheduled to return to the Public Safety Council, February 27 for their recommendations.The Sheriff’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in Santa Cruz County to use air surveillance to catch criminals during public safety emergencies.

After a year of flying drones to fight crime and respond to emergencies, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has released its first report on their use.

The release of this annual report is part of the Sheriff’s Office transparency policy. An agreement made when it reached out to the community on how it planned to use its ‘eyes-in-the-sky’.

In 2019, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, launched drones 21 times.

The 14 member team deployed them during search and rescue operations, suspect searches, documenting crime scenes and high risk incidents.

“This not only benefits law enforcement. It benefits public safety as well. If we’re searching for someone or there’s a public safety crisis we could get eyes much higher than without a drone,” said, Ashley Keehn, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Spokesperson.

The Sheriff’s Office has a dozen of these drones and they are positioned throughout Santa Cruz County Deputies even carry them in their vehicles so they can be deployed at a moment’s notice.

But there is strict criteria on how they are used.

“There’s been a number of times that our drone was requested for use and we’ve denied those because they fall outside the policy whether that be for some sort of unplanned random surveillance or videoing protests. We don’t do that!” said Keehn.

Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills is working with the city and community on drawing up a policy for the use of drones and other technology by his department.

Finding the balance between transparency for predictive analytics, facial recognition and technology is delicate.

City leaders are currently reluctant to use these tools because there may be bias associated with them.

“The mayor asked us to take it back work with the ACLU and other folks, other community members to determine what that should look like … and so we’re suggesting a policy as well as sending it back to public safety committee to take a look at the edits we had made,” said Mills.

The Santa Cruz City proposal is scheduled to return to the Public Safety Council, February 27 for their recommendations.

The Sheriff’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in Santa Cruz County to use air surveillance to catch criminals during public safety emergencies.

Check Also

India Flying Labs Teaches Drone Skills in Nagaland

courtesy of India Flying Labs WeRobotics recently launched a workshop in Nagaland, a state in …

Judge Strikes Down Michigan County’s Drone Ban

kennethaw88 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) A Michigan county’s attempt to ban drone flights in its …