Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern has publicly stated that the drones he wants to buy and deploy in the East Bay would be used primarily for emergency and disaster response. However, internal sheriff's office documents show that Ahern's staffers also envision using drones for traditional police work, including "intelligence gathering" and "crowd control" during large demonstrations.
The word drone may conjure up images of remote-controlled planes firing missiles and killing terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But in the US, police departments are seeking the same technology to save lives.
Alameda County’s sheriff has expressed interest in adding the unmanned aerial system to his public safety arsenal, but civil liberty activists are blasting the idea as a further erosion of privacy and an abuse of power.