Friday, November 16, 2012

Champaign Sheriff "WAAAaaay ahead of the pack" in the "drone game"?

After extensive review of records of the Champaign County (IL) sheriff department, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a journalist working with the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) has released a chilling picture of how drones are coming to small-town America.

In "Why Does Sheriff of Small Midwestern College Town Need a Drone?", Brian Dolinar shared findings, including:
  • the Champaign County sheriff has owned a drone since 2008
  • the drone was purchased without approval of the Champaign County Board
  • the purchase was made with drug forfeiture money
  • the drone purchased was a “Spectra”. "The plane has a wing span of 48 inches and weighs up to six pounds with equipment. On the belly of the plane is a camera system capable of providing three-dimensional live video streaming."
  • the Champaign County sheriff may be looking for a second drone
  • there is also evidence that the sheriff has been monitoring the increased use of drones across the country
Spectra "Flying Wing"
Dolinar quotes an email dated May 22, 2011, in which a Texas aeronautics company executive wrote to the Champaign County sheriff's office, “Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you guys were WAAAaaay ahead of the pack in getting your UA [Unmanned Aerial]. Seems like more and more PD’s and SO’s are getting in the drone game.”

Greaaaaaaaat . . . .

Read the full article: "Why Does Sheriff of Small Midwestern College Town Need a Drone?".

3 comments:

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  2. Hello,

    I did this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQzfEuHyHjE with the assistance of Joe Scarrey. I am beginning research on another story about drones. Can your group please email me about this?

    Thank you very much,
    Mikasi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
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