SAN PABLO (KPIX 5) — A day after the San Pablo city council unanimously approved an advanced new drone program for law enforcement use, police showed their high-tech gear off at a National Night Out event.
The drone, made by Impossible Aerospace, is called the U.S. 1. Police said it contains a battery that can keep the drone airborne for well over an hour.
“Anytime there’s gunshots, a potentially active shooter or if someone needs rescuing in an area that officers can’t access easily, that’s when we would deploy the U.S. 1 drone to respond,” said Capt. Brian Bubar of the San Pablo Police Department.
Bubar said the department planned to launch the program in about a month’s time. San Pablo resident Kristine Raman told KPIX 5 she had been following the discussion over the drones and looked forward to seeing the program get off the ground.
“It would make me feel a little bit more secure,” she said. But not every resident at the National Night Out event agreed.
“Privacy is very important,” San Pablo resident Cleana Miller said after seeing the drone for the first time. She said she supports law enforcement using the drone, but only under certain circumstances.
“It’s good when you are looking for somebody, but just to be spying on somebody, I don’t think that’s good,” she said.
According to department policy, the drones “will not be used to surveil private areas such as inside buildings, through windows, or any other areas where a search warrant would be needed.”
Bubar said the policy was crafted after a series of meetings with the local community.
“We’re confident this program is the most secure and the most safe program that you could have an our community fully embraces it,” he said.