Dorner Manhunt: LAPD Declines To Say Whether Drones Being Used
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.
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.