Alameda County Sheriff Making Another Pitch For An Aerial Drone

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Generic image of an unarmed drone.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Generic image of an unarmed drone. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is making another pitch to be among a few local law enforcement agencies to use unmanned aerial drones.

A committee of the county’s Board of Supervisors may decide Thursday whether to allow the full board to vote on a $31,646 state grant towards the purchase of a drone.

Sheriff’s officials have said the device would be used for search and rescue missions, to respond to wildfires and to capture fugitives, not for surveillance or gathering intelligence on civilians.

But the American Civil Liberties Union says it’s concerned about a lack of privacy safeguards and is advocating for rules limiting the drone’s use.

County supervisors delayed giving their consent for the sheriff’s office to move forward and sent the matter back to committee as pressure mounted from the ACLU.

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