If you are having trouble digesting the headline, just imagine how much trouble I am having trying to write about it.
In what has to be the most ludicrous excuse ever made by police to spy on citizens, this one is at the top of my list.
Last month the Riverhead Police Department in New York and town officials claimed that drones, increased foot patrols and surveillance cameras would help revitalize downtown.
The headline reads, “Drones, police foot patrols, more floated to uplift Riverhead’s downtown.”
“We’re concerned about revitalizing downtown, and part of the revitalization of downtown is also public safety,” Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said in a Sept. 4 interview. “Questions have come up, whether it be the perception of safety…”
How do officials plan to change the public’s “perception of safety”?
Smith claims that police drones will “create more of a community connection in the area. More eyes and ears in the area, will hopefully lead to more people coming to shop and recreate in downtown more.”
To claim that surveillance drones will “create more of a community connection” is a new low by anyone’s standards. [ I am referring to you, DHS.]
Three questions about police surveillance drones need to be asked.
1.) Will the police use Riverhead’s, electric-powered Luminati Aerospace drones to revitalize downtown?
Two years ago, the Long Island Press called Luminati a secretive drone company that refuses to reveal who their clients are.
2.) Will the police use “Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications” drones that can fly over downtown for hours without being recharged?
3.) Will the police use Aptonomy drones to “revitalize downtown”?
According to an article in the Los Altos Town Crier, Aptonomy volunteers their drones to police departments as an incentive to use them exclusively.
Police used drones to spy on music festivalgoers
What’s next? Will police claim that stop-and-frisk’s will revitalize downtowns?
Claiming police surveillance drones will revitalize downtowns is a portent of what’s to come.