SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – San Mateo County has launched a drone detection system to protect critical facilities like jails and courts after a successful test earlier at this year at the county’s Youth Services Center.

The center includes juvenile courts and a detention center with open yards where drones could conduct surveillance or deliver contraband, and the detection system showed a “large number” of drones operating in the air nearby.

The technology includes long-range detection and early-warning systems that track the drone’s flight path and position, as well as the pilot’s location, on the same map.

It also differentiates commercial drones from hobbyist drones, while a built-in application identifies possible threats.

“In the wake of news stories around the world concerning malicious drone activity around critical facilities such as radio towers, airports and jails, it was important for the county to test and implement this new technology in our SMC Labs environment,” county spokesman Jon Walton said Monday in a statement.

SMC Labs works on such tech-oriented projects as free public Wi-Fi and optimizing waste collection routes to minimize vehicle emissions. For more information, go to

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.