San Jose Police to Discuss Drone at Public Meeting Saturday

The San Jose Police Department will take the next step in getting public input on deploying the drone it acquired from the Department of Homeland Security. On Saturday, a public outreach meeting will be held from 10am-12pm at City Hall.

A national project by the Vice-sponsored outlet Muckrock first published information about SJPD's purchase of the drone—also referred to as a Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)—in July. Within two weeks, after outcries from privacy advocates, the department admitted it could have handled the process better, which led several local media outlets to incorrectly report the admission as an apology.

“In hindsight, SJPD should have done a better job of communicating the purpose and acquisition of the UAS device to our community,” SJPD said in a statement. “The community should have the opportunity to provide feedback, ask questions, and express their concerns before we move forward with this project. To this end, we will first develop a community outreach plan before we take steps to deploy the UAS.”

According to a new department press release, SJPD is not currently using its drone. Here is how it spelled out its process in acquiring the device

"Earlier in 2014, the Police Department obtained one UAS, specifically for the SJPD Bomb Unit. The UAS is a Century NEO 660 Hex-Rotor which has a Go-Pro camera for aerial video footage. The UAS is 3 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall.

"If and when policies and procedures are drafted and finalized, the SJPD would ensure the UAS usage would be compliant with FAA regulations, federal and state law. The SJPD would also obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA prior to using the UAS."

A Power Point presentation was given at a Nov. 13 Neighborhoods Commission meeting, and Saturday's presentation will include a discussion of proposed uses for the drone followed by a question and answer period.

WHAT: SJPD outreach meeting on drone
WHEN: 10am-12pm Saturday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose (Committee Room 120)

7 Comments

  1. Why anyone would want to make an issue out of a hobbyist quadcopter with a gopro camera attatched is beyond me. You think police CAN’T fly over your house with a helicopter? How about borrowing a FD ladder truck?

    Snoozeful keep busy work. Wake me when they get a predator drone.

  2. Talk about beating a dead horse..

    This is ridiculous. Considering the helicopter isn’t used/ available for more than half of a normal day, a drone like this would be a huge asset when major incidents are working and there is a need for air surveillance. Take the recent rooftop standoff on 2nd street for example.

    There is Supreme Court precedent already in place which allows this type of technology to be utilized. Why must there be pandering to the NAACP to pacify their fears?

    Anyone who believes they are important enough to be the target of surveillance operations by UAV’s probably has much larger problems on hand or is truly guilty of something warranting the surveillance.

  3. The genie is out of the bottle, folks.

    Drones, cameras, wireless communication are all here to stay. You can’t “uninvent” something as useful as a drone.

    If you REALLY want to worry about abuse of privacy, worry about the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board. The IRS wants to know who you pray too, what you ask for in your prayers, and who’s in your church.

  4. SJI crying wolf again… Can’t the race baiters and those critical of Law Enforcement find a legitimate cause? Have we learned nothing from Ferguson and the media’s inability to fact check or report with veracity?

  5. Remember folks the police department is using the name Jate Naeger to give the impression that Nate Jaeger is making the comments. Then the police department makes comments using the name Nate Jaeger, why we don’t know why. Nate Jaeger is a world famous entertainer who lives in Switzerland see: natejaeger.com and enjoy.

  6. someone is going to listen to liars who now have to explain ownership and use of an invasive and illegal software to intercept system to play with listening at will to any cell conversation without a warrant.

  7. I for one have never confused Jate Naeger for Nate Jaeger, just as I have never confused the King’s English for pig Latin, concerto for caterwaul, or logic for lunacy.