Grover Beach police adding crime fighting drones

February 4, 2022

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The Grover Beach Police Department has added a fleet of four drones to its force. [KSBY]

Grover Beach police are following other local law enforcement agencies in launching a drone program. The Morro Bay Police Department became the first law enforcement agency in San Luis Obispo County to add drones to its force, doing so in 2018.

Currently, Grover Beach police have three trained drone pilots. Police officials hope to train five more, so there is always a drone pilot on duty.

The police department has a policy prohibiting the use of drones for random surveillance. Officers may only dispatch drones on calls and for particular reasons, such as photographing crime or accident scenes; search and rescue operations; SWAT incidents; and responding to illegal fireworks.

It takes about 30 to 60 seconds for officers to get a drone up in the air, Grover Beach Police Commander Jim Munro said.


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Rambunctious

Lots of money spent just to chase bad guys that CA DA’s and Judges will just turn loose anyway….


CCCentrist

I, too, appreciate the police. As inconvenient as police can be at times, image if we didn’t have that thin blue line between order and everyone-out-for-themselves? Unthinkable. And I can see the benefit of drones for, say, anti-graffiti/vandalism, etc.


But at what cost? What if you call for the police when you are in need and “under-staffing” means they instead send a drone to film for court purposes. Recruiting issues for regular cops could push departments to over rely on drones.


Perhaps at first there will be careful laws to “limit” over use and “surveillance”. When the people get accustomed to the police drones, then the laws will gradually get relaxed. Coming generations have much less resistance to the growing surveillance world we live in.


Also, these are not the same as a helicopter. They are much harder to see and hear. Ambient noise can easily hide their presence. Technology will make them even more stealthy in the future.


Please, Central Coast police departments, re-think this.


Chill

Big BS. They can’t even control speeding traffic because they don’t have enough certified speed gun officers, Primarily due to high turnover. Remember when loud exhaust was illegal? Maybe these new toys will bring in young recruits?


mused

THIS!! is SUCH B.S. more corrupt “Officers of the Court” writing up crap that reads to nowhere


they’re basically saying you can fly drones over CARS and PEOPLE but that “CERTAIN”

people get to “find out” where the “controller” is “located” and to make them show “their pilot certificate”


MEANWHILE the citizens getting their rights buried have NO RIGHT to determine WTF is above their HEAD FILMING THEM!!!


https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-04881.pdf


mused

Do we have a right to shoot the item down on private property in self defense if it appears under 500 feet? Or to point lasers at it to prevent photography, i.e. INVASION OF PRIVACY illegal PHOTOGRAPHING of private properties?


WELCOME TO ANIMAL FARM PEOPLE; U.S. is o v e r


aft50s

PULL!


shelworth

All the better to keep an eye on you, in case you decide to get out of line…


Jorge Estrada

I believe in the police presence but I question drones everywhere.


kayaknut

Are they going to stick to flying over public property, once they fly over private property wouldnt a warrant be needed, or even when looking in on private property?


saywhat

The laws changed last April. Anybody with a drone license can fly anywhere that is not restricted airspace (like near an airport) Private property does not matter.

The new law is here:

https://www.faa.gov/newsroom/new-drone-rules-take-effect-today

Some people refer to it as the “Amazon Law” because Amazon pushed for it so they could deliver packages.


kayaknut

But just as police can not enter your house without a warrant wouldn’t the same be true for flying over private property and spying?


Myself

Ahhh, I was under the impression we could shotgun them down over private property.


WeElPeople

As long as they follow FAA regulations they can fly over private property…just remember airplanes fly over your house all the time without a warrant. Aircraft should be at least 500’ AGL, whereas UAV’s are restricted to below 400’ (obvious reasons)…google satellites (and many others, like China & Russia) are constantly taking photos from space. Local/state police have very few drones & do not have the resources (or desire) to play the big bother surveillance olé that some are concerned about….remember the whole defund the police movement, these agencies have been decimated by retirements, resignations, & budget cuts…they are having a hard enough time staffing shifts. Current UAV’s have limited flight time between charges & at 400’ you can easily hear them from the ground…I’d be more concerned about Chinese or Russian satellites!


kayaknut

But airplanes dont have 4K cameras that can look into your house and see what tv channel your are watching. If Putin wants to know I watch Modern Marvels I have no problem, more of an issue for my local officials to know my every movment.


paragon

With most new cellphones having 4k or better cameras, most airplane pilots these days DO have 4k cameras in their pockets and can easily whip them out to film you, and police helicopters have even better high res thermal cameras that can indeed look into your house. It seems that drones are just the latest boogeyman for anti-police activists like kayaknut.


slo-to-load

News flash: manned aircraft, including police helicopters already can and do fly over private property all the time without needing a warrant. What makes you think it would be any different for unmanned vehicles? And it’s not just limited to police aircraft. Any private pilot can legally fly over your property and take all the photos they want, as long as they maintain a 500 foot distance from buildings and people. This has been allowed by FAA regulations for probably as long as aircraft have been around.