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.


 
 

 
Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Devil Pups:

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds Graduates of Devil Pup pose with accolades and certificates they received from Palmdale Mayor James Ledford and dignitaries during a recent council meeting. Over 51,000 teens have graduated the 1...
 
 
civilian-of-year

Range safety engineer named CAFA Civilian of the Year

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Andrew Hansen, 412th Test Wing Range Safety engineer, was named the U.S. Air Force Civilian of the Year for 2014 by the California Air Force Association. The award features famous aviator G...
 
 
Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Giving back

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds Mary Beth, Jonah, Elias, Isaac, Micah and retired Air Force F-16 Test Pilot Col. Todd Ericson pose with goods that friends donated to Airman’s Attic at Edwards Air Force Base. Friends came to c...
 

 

News Briefs July 3, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 1, 2014, at least 2,194 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 1,817 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Bots battle at world championship for third year straight

Courtesy photograph The 2014 Joe Walker Middle School VEX Jets team that went to the VEZ Robotics World Championship, holding their 3D printed model of their robot and the Create Award they won. The effort to teach Science, Tec...
 
 
www.jacobnelson.com 

Grounded and flying high

www.jacobnelson.com  Flight Instructor Jacob Nelson poses with N108ED at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. It doesn’t matter if his life is up in the air or firmly planted on a stage, Jacob Nelson, 21, is living the dream; bot...
 




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>