LA Sheriff's bizarre Compton surveillance

Unfortunately, you barely need the future tense on that one:

We’ve got the sensor packages: (ARGUS-IS, Gorgon Stare, ConstantHawk/AngelFire, among others) and you can mount them on more or less whatever (suitably large) platform suits your purposes.

If you want cheap and off-the-shelf, any modestly sized civilian prop plane can probably answer the purpose. If you want tacticool, several of these sensor packages are explicitly designed for use on MQ-9 Reapers or MQ-1 Predator/MQ-1C Grey Eagle drones. If you want ultra-long loiter, you can use aerostats (as the ‘Kestrel’ system, primarily deployed in Afghanistan, experimentally deployed on the US/Mexico border) does.

The ‘Blue Devil’ blimp project was cancelled after assorted incompetence and cost overruns; but blimps, aerostats, and dirigibles aren’t exactly rocket surgery at this point, so the ongoing project to develop a “Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle” to carry the so-called “Wide Area Persistent Surveillance” sensor systems should be just a matter of not all that much time.

Also fun, Lawrence Livermore put together the ‘Persistics’ software package to help make sorting through all that pesky data easier and more automatic.

If anything, the Compton incident (while everyone involved should be sacked so hard they spit burlap for a month, especially for the, actual quote from actual lead of the project “A lot of people do have a problem with the eye in the sky, the Big Brother,” Iketani told the news outlet, “so in order to mitigate any of those kinds of complaints, we basically kept it pretty hush-hush.” attitude. You didn’t feel like dealing with complaints so you just did it secretly? So, I’m guessing that testilying doesn’t weigh heavy on your concience, now does it?) was relatively amateur hour.

I find this page on the manufacturer’s website to be particularly notable: “HAWKEYE II was developed under a grant from the Ohio Third Frontier (and economic development initiative for the state of Ohio) A portion of this grant is being used to fund operational demonstrations of the HAWKEYE II system to potential customers for 200 hours. If your organization is actively seeking new surveillance technology and would like a demonstration, please contact us.”

So, odds are good that this little exercise in Big Brother was a marketing stunt(taxpayer funded!) for one Mr. Ross McNutt’s post-Air Force private sector gig. The nonsense the PDs come up with on their own is bad enough; but having salesmen dictate your sinister surveillance strategy? WTFOMGBBQ.


It “needs” to be done to hold people accountable for their actions. A lot people seemingly assume that their mostly free lives do indeed have some hard limits when your using others finite resources. “What’s wrong with getting a permit?” is one of the opposite questions to ask.

It’s amazing how many people just try and ignore laws and are surprised when they are enforced. Knowing the rules (and having those rules easily accessible is another issue) to the game is the easiest way to not being penalized.


Ya, being a country boy, I bristled at the idea of needing a permit just to do what seemed like trivial stuff… After living in L.A. for a while and seeing some of the incredibly stupid things that some people do I understand (I still might not like it sometimes, but I can definitely see why it is needed)

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We live in a system and for that system to function in a way that doesn’t kill people “accidentally”, we need to be situationally aware. The world is bigger than “our space”… ces’t le vie.

It might have been an attempt at quiet intimidation. Passsive-agressive I guess.

the police time machine. Bang on. That’s exactly what it sounds like. A dozen surveillance cameras on a small
plane which lingers and takes photos every few seconds, which allows them to figure out where people go etc. I believe
they’ve used something similar in Afghanistan to see where bombers came from etc by looking at the recordings.
NPR did a story about it… Aerocop. (they also mention they’ve tested it in a number of US cities including Compton).


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