Local

September 4, 2012

Lancaster takes LEAPS towards a safer city

The City of Lancaster officially launched its new aerial law enforcement surveillance system Aug. 23.

The Law Enforcement Aerial Platform System (LEAPS) is designed to aid the L.A. County Sheriff’s department in fighting crime and providing quicker response times for other emergencies.

“At the end of the day what we have is Defense Department security on a civilian budget,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris, during a press conference. He added that this project has been in the works for four years now. The City of Lancaster has partnered with Aero-View LLC for this project and will receive the first 12 months of service and operations at no cost to the city.

LEAPS utilizes a Cessna 172 platform that has been modified by Spiral Technology Inc. to use aerial video surveillance that produces both visible and infra-red images, making it effective both day and night. The LEAPS aircraft will operate for 10 hours per day of continuous surveillance. The system will be operated by a dispatcher who controls the view of the camera and sends orders to the pilot regarding where to go. The dispatcher has the ability to zoom the camera in/out and engage in tracking mode. While in tracking mode, the dispatcher can lock in on a particular item such as a car or person until ground units are able to reach the person of interest.

According to Parris, the only way to reduce crime is to create “certainty of apprehension.” With LEAPS, the Sheriff’s Department will have a “virtual response time” of less than five minutes to assess any situation that may arise. While the system is being promoted as a crime-fighting tool, it will also be used to assess natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires.

According to Capt. Bob Jonsen, from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, LEAPS can follow a criminal target at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 feet and at 1,500 feet an officer can see what a suspect is wearing. Jonsen described it as “the ultimate tool” in fighting crime because it provides a “birds-eye view” of the city. The system operates in the Wi-Fi bandwidth and will therefore not interrupt the normal Air Traffic Control systems while carrying out its missions.

Parris also addressed concerns about privacy stating that we need to protect the civil liberties of our law-abiding citizens. He added that he “thinks Google is far more invasive” and LEAPS is a reasonable compromise in aerial surveillance. All information collected from the LEAPS system is sent in an encrypted format back to the sheriff’s station for analysis. The pilot is unable to see any of video surveillance being recorded while he is in flight. Parris believes the system will create a greater accountability and protect officers from false accusations because everything will be collected on tape. He added that it’s the “human condition” to behave better when we know we’re being watched.

The LEAPS system is an addition to the Lancaster Sheriff’s department and will not replace current patrol cars. LEAPS is a fuel-efficient, low noise aircraft that is maintained locally at the William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, Calif. Spiral Technology Inc. and Aero View LLC are both local, veteran-owned companies.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>