Police

L.A. Sheriff's Department Didn't Disclose Massive Surveillance Program, Because People Wouldn't Like It

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Via Techdirt comes the story of the newest toys acquired by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD), former war-zone tech that allows "wide area surveillance." Camera systems are attached to civilian airplanes and can capture 10,000 times the area of a police chopper.  The system is provided by a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems that got it start, where else, designing wares for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police are excited about having the power to spy from the air in real time, recording video to play back later in order to track the movement of residents in places like Compton. Cops also knew, though, that this new ability of theirs might not play well with the public they still theoretically work for. Techdirt flags this portion of the report by the Center for Investigative Reporting:

"The system was kind of kept confidential from everybody in the public," (LASD Sgt.) Iketani said. "A lot of people do have a problem with the eye in the sky, the Big Brother, so in order to mitigate any of those kinds of complaints, we basically kept it pretty hush-hush."

You know who else had a problem with being monitored? The Los Angeles Police Department, whose officers destroyed equipment attached to their police cars that would record (audio only!) their interactions with residents. The LASD itself, meanwhile, was the recent target of a federal investigation after trying to hide an informant that was going to testify to corruption and excessive force at the department.

Can someone explain to me why Los Angeles needs two police forces? 

h/t From the Tundra

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  1. Something something nothing to hide.

  2. The system is provided by a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems that got it start, where else, designing wares for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It’s just cronyism all the way down.

  3. Can someone explain to me why Los Angeles needs two police forces?
    Umm, there is a city named Los Angeles that happens to be in a county that is also named Los Angeles?

    1. Isn’t the city and county overlap so great that there’s no ounty outside the city?

      I can’ just see NYC adding five more police departments since it has so many counties.

      1. That’s San Francisco. I live in Los Angeles County, but not in the City of Los Angeles. City population is around 4 mil, County population is around 10 mil.

        My town has its own Police Department. Other incorporated cities in the county choose not to maintain their own police departments, and instead contract with the LA County Sheriff for law enforcement.

        1. Like Compton?

          1. Yeah. Compton used to have its own police department, but they were disbanded for corruption and the Sheriff’s Department took over.

        2. Clearly we need to trim down the county of Los Angeles. After all, what county needs more than five million residents?

          1. I’m trying to picture how far I would have to drive to get to undeveloped open space in the county. Probably Malibu?

      2. NYC has a Sheriff’s department but they only handle civil stuff and collection of taxes, fines, for the Dept of Finance.

        My father was a Lt. in the Morris County (NJ) SD. They never ran radar/pulled anyone over. They handled murders/rapes (rare), child support cases, serving warrants, 911, etc.

        It was the municipal cops and NJ Staties that would pull you over.

        Then I lived in Florida for 3 years and saw the overlap of of city and county cops doing the same shit. Pretty redundant.

        1. Actually, in Florida within city limits actual criminal code violations are handled by city cops, Sheriffs deputies only handle court orders etc. To enforce arrest warrants ordered by county or circuit court judges they are usually required to notify city cops and in some case have them present at the arrest.

          1. Fair enough.

            All I know is that when I lived in Ft Myers (ugh) from 03-06, I definitely saw Lee County SD running radar in Ft Myers city limits. Rt 41 I think it is.

    2. Umm, there is a city named Los Angeles that happens to be in a county that is also named Los Angeles?

      Here in sensible Virginia, cities are their own independent political units. So when the City of Richmond decides to spend millions on boondoggles, you can just move five minutes away and be under the sober and judicious leadership of Henrico or Chesterfield County.

      1. I used to live in Chesterfield. Compared to Richmond? Sure. My problem with Chesterfield is (for example) every public building and high school gets built with a three-story atrium, then they have the gall to cry poverty.
        Do we have a current Engineer here who can tell me how much extra three stories of empty space costs compared to two stories? I remember the difference was considerable, but it has been too long since I did that kind of work.

    3. Can someone explain to me why Los Angeles needs two police forces?
      Umm, there is a city named Los Angeles that happens to be in a county that is also named Los Angeles?

      Of course they also have Highway Patrol and State Police. So really, they have four departments that all get involved in the city of LA. The county of LA has 80 or so cities, and a lot of them have their own police too.

  4. Harry Reid is right for once. More and more US citizens have no respect for the “state”. Wonder why?

  5. You know who else had a problem with being monitored?

    Hitler.

    1. Winston Smith?

      http://www.valorebooks.com/cam…..4-07-g.jpg

  6. lol, OK now i never thought about it that way!

    http://www.GotsDatAnon.tk

  7. Can someone explain to me why Los Angeles needs two police forces?

    Because the LAPD doesn’t enforce traffic cameras but the LASD does? $490 for a rolling right on red through a clearly empty intersection, damn.

    1. I got a simple parking ticket back in the 1980s that was over a hundred bucks. Damned expensive for a meeting lasting half an hour past when a meter ran out.

  8. Skol Tundra! Right on with the h/t

  9. Can someone explain to me why Los Angeles needs even one police force?

    Charles Nichols ? President of California Right To Carry
    http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org

    “[A] right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.”” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 – Supreme Court (2008) at 2809.

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