warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Dorner Manhunt: LAPD Declines To Say Whether Drones Being Used

Paresh Dave |
February 7, 2013 | 11:39 a.m. PST

Executive Director

A Los Angeles Police spokeswoman declined to say whether local law enforcement authorities had sought the help of the federal government and its fleet of drones in the two-state-wide search for Christopher Jordan Dorner, the suspected killer of three people across Southern California in the last five days.

While police have released two license plate numbers and a description of a car tied to Dorner, it's unclear whether unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles capable of reading license plates from the sky are assisting in the manhunt.

READ MORE: Dorner Manhunt: Search For Ex-Cop Fugitive Enters Third Day As Trail Grows Cold

At a press conference Thursday morning, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz said, "We are using all the tools at our disposal."

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has drones in North Dakota, Texas and Arizona, but none are deployed in San Diego, CPB spokesman Ralph DeSio said.

"The agency has been on the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement," California Watch reported last year. "While there are still relatively few drones flying today, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts 30,000 will fly domestically in less than 20 years, according to a recent congressional report."

READ MORE: A Timeline Of Dorner's Alleged Crimes

The FAA last year released guidelines about domestic drone use, and several local law enforcement authorities have explored the idea of purchasing their own drones. The Alameda County Sheriff's Department had to delay plans to do so in December after protests by civil rights groups. While the ACLU is against unchecked drone use, its website states that usage with search warrants or in times of emergency can be justified. The California Legislature is also likely to consider regulating drone usage this year.

LAPD told the L.A. Times that even Mexican border authorities had been told to be on the lookout for Dorner.

The latest on the Dorner situation can be found here.

Like reporter Paresh Dave on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ or send him an e-mail.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.