DUBLIN (CBS SF) — The Alameda County Sheriff’s department showed off its new drone among a swath of high-tech equipment Wednesday in Dublin.

The drone was one of two the department bought with about $100,000 in public funds.  The Sheriff Greg Ahern also unveiled a bomb squad robot and a four-year timeline detailing steps toward acquiring the system.

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Controversy surrounded the purchase of the unmanned aerial system, commonly referred to as ‘drones,’ and the department met with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to discuss the issue.

Ahern called it a transparent process and that the devices will be invaluable tools.

“We get numerous calls with regards to [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] EOD responses for explosive devices and we get numerous calls for search and rescue missions,” Ahern said.

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He added that the drones will not be used for surveillance and that the ACLU and his office failed to agree on the system’s retention of data and what he calls turning a blind eye to crimes that may be picked up by the system like a marijuana grow.

The department said in a statement they acquired the drones to “assist the agency operations that involve limited public safety missions.”

“The public has already made clear that there’s enormous concern and opposition and yet he’s gone ahead and acquired a drone anyway. He’s asking for a blank check and yet when it comes to our privacy rights, we deserve more safe guards,” said Linda Lye, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

The ACLU has denounced the sheriff’s decision.

“The public has already made clear that there’s enormous concern and opposition and yet he’s gone ahead and acquired a drone anyway. He’s asking for a blank check and yet when it comes to our privacy rights, we deserve more safe guards,” said Linda Lye, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

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Police in San Jose purchased a drone system, generating wide ranging reactions from residents.