California sheriff asks DHS for surveillance drones [RT]

AFP Photo/Pierre Andrieu

AFP Photo/Pierre Andrieu

If the sheriff of Alameda County, California has his way, the citizens of the West Coast cities of Oakland and Freemont might soon find more than just birds and planes soaring through the sky. Sherriff Greg Ahern is eyeing a remote-controlled drone.

At only four-feet wide and weighing in at roughly the size of a puppy, an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, could provide police in Alameda County with a whole new set of eyes where cops can’t easily get to. Such is the reason these aircraft are among the US military’s most popular addition to their arsenal in recent years, allowing the Pentagon to peer into insurgents from 30,000 feet above the Earth.

Sheriff Ahern wants the US Homeland Security department to send him funding to acquire a single UAV — for starters — which could cost the agency as much as $100,000. In the name of law enforcement and securing the state, though, it might not be a hard sell for the sheriff, especially after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano endorsed the idea of adding UAVs across California during a Capitol Hill testimony only earlier this year.

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