|A pilot flies over Lancaster in a Cessna equipped with a surveillance system. The city appears to be the first to have a camera sending video continuously to the ground, to be used as an integral part of daily policing. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times / August 24, 2012)|
The residents of Lancaster probably didn’t notice it, but a small Cessna aircraft on Friday flew high above the desert city, capturing hours of video and ushering in a new era in law enforcement surveillance.
The plane, equipped with sophisticated video equipment, is set fly a loop above the city for up to 10 hours a day, beaming a live video feed of what’s going on below to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center.
The camera will inevitably pick up scenes of mundane day-to-day life. But officials said they plan to use the video only to track reports of crimes in progress, traffic collisions and other emergency situations.
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