Now tell me that this is a wise, prudent, necessary or productive use of
No wonder you're going bankrupt as a country. One city at a time, one
bank at a time, one family at a time.
Drone Gives Texas Law Enforcement Bird's-Eye View on Crime
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is weeks away from launching an
unmanned aerial asset to help deputies fight crime. The ShadowHawk
helicopter is six-feet long, weighs fifty pounds and fits in the back of
“We can put it over a fire, put it over a hazmat spill, put it over a
house with a suspect barricaded inside and literally give the incident
commander the ability to look at the entire scene with a bird’s eye
view, ” Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel said.
Sheriff’s deputies will fly the ShadowHawk with nothing more than a
laptop computer and a remote control similar to that used for video
It’s equipped with an infrared camera that can clearly read a license
plate from an elevation of twelve hundred feet. The helicopter cost
upwards of $300,000 and was purchased with a grant from the federal
Vanguard Defense Industries built the helicopter. The company has also
supplied aerial assets to US forces over seas.
Critics argue the drone-like vehicle isn’t safe, because it’s unmanned.
“I gotta tell you, it sort of looks like boys and their toys, ” said
Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas. “We’re giving up
our privacy, we’re letting the government have way too much power.”
The ACLU is concerned that technology used by law enforcement officials
in general is getting ahead of people’s privacy. No one has complained
to the ACLU about the Montgomery County helicopter, but some fear it
could be used to spy on people.
“The Constitution spells out very clearly that we have a right to
privacy, ” Burke said.
“This sheriff’s office has better things to do with its time then spy on
people, ” McDaniel argued. "That’s not our mission. The only way that
it’s going to be an invasion of their privacy is if they are committing
some type of a criminal act where we might utilize this to catch them.”