LA sheriff tested camera plane to watch Compton

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department used a camera-laden surveillance plane to observe the city of Compton during a test program two years ago.

The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/1ns4cG5) esidents have mixed feelings about the monitoring. Some say it would help ensure public safety and others decried an invasion of privacy.

For nine days in early 2012, the small Cessna outfitted with a dozen cameras beamed images to a sheriff's station, where deputies observed fender benders, necklace snatchings and a shooting.

The plane, owned by Ohio-based Persistent Surveillance Systems, flew at 10,000 feet in a loop about four miles wide. Officials said only images tied to known crime scenes received scrutiny.

City leaders were not told about the program, which was first reported by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com