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Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Sprawl and Crawl ()
Date: May 04, 2012 11:00AM

Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Police chief says drones will monitor traffic.
http://herndon.patch.com/articles/drones-could-be-coming-to-fairfax-county

Unmanned aerial drones could soon be flying over Fairfax County, according to Fairfax County Police Department Chief David Rohrer, WTOP reports.

"Drones will certainly have a purpose and a reason to be in this region in the next coming years," Rohrer said Monday on WTOP. Rohrer was appearing on the station's "Ask the Chief" show.

Rohrer said the drones could be used to monitor traffic conditions and backups on area roadways.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a list of organizations that are authorized to use drones. In Virginia, some government agencies based in the state and Virginia Tech have received drone certificates, though the list does not include information about where the drones are flying.

In February, Virginia officials acknowledged that they rarely monitors drivers' speed on highways using aircraft, despite signs that warn motorists that aircrafts could be watching them as they drive.
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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Centreville Resident ()
Date: May 04, 2012 05:42PM

Monitor Traffic conditions? You've got to be kidding!! All the resources already in place to monitor traffic conditions and you almost never hear any reports on the radio about traffic backups, accidents or what have you relating to Fairfax County roads. Isn't there a more pressing need they could be spending this money on?

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: dammit ()
Date: May 04, 2012 05:48PM

Well, we're all fucked. Especially since the Government reserves the fly-over rights to all of our private property.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: lisa baden ()
Date: May 04, 2012 05:49PM

All we need to know is how are things on Father Hurley Blvd

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Uncle Smartypants ()
Date: May 04, 2012 06:01PM

We need to minimize the number of assets SkyNet will someday use against us.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: justsayin ()
Date: May 04, 2012 06:30PM

Thanks goodness we have another thread on this. The forum was getting an electronic headache with the traffic in the other one, thank you!

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: HaHa ()
Date: May 05, 2012 08:21AM

justsayin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks goodness we have another thread on this.
> The forum was getting an electronic headache with
> the traffic in the other one, thank you!

This one is better, after all its got pictures. LOL
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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Mr. Insensitive ()
Date: May 05, 2012 08:31AM

Uncle Smartypants Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We need to minimize the number of assets SkyNet
> will someday use against us.

Kyle: There was a nuclear, a few years from now. All this, this whole place, everything, it's gone. Just gone. There're survivors, here, there. Nobody knew who started it. It was the machines, Sarah.

Sarah: I don't understand.

Kyle: Defense network computers: New, powerful, hooked into everything. Trusted to run it all. They say it got smart: a new order of intelligence. Then it's all peoples's a threat, not just the ones from the other side. It decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination!
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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Gordon Blvd ()
Date: May 05, 2012 08:42AM

well good, then

after the Skynet Apocalypse then maybe I'll be able to get in and out of Wegmans in a reasonable time :)

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: gerry c ()
Date: May 05, 2012 08:43AM

If Obama is for drones then I am for drones
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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: I'll Be Back ()
Date: May 05, 2012 08:45AM

Gordon Blvd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> well good, then
>
> after the Skynet Apocalypse then maybe I'll be
> able to get in and out of Wegmans in a reasonable
> time :)

Wishful thinking my friend...
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Chief: Drones 'certainly' coming to skies over Beltway
Posted by: WTOP ()
Date: May 05, 2012 09:29AM

Chief: Drones 'certainly' coming to skies over Beltway
Paul D. Shinkman, wtop.com
Mark Segraves, wtop.com
http://www.wtop.com/149/2846813/Chief-Drones-certainly-coming-to-skies-over-Beltway

WASHINGTON - Look up. Drones are "certainly" coming to the skies over the Beltway in the next few years, one area police chief says.

The use of drones in the D.C. area became public information last week, after the Federal Aviation Administration released a list of agencies currently or previously permitted to use the unmanned aerial vehicles. It included many federal departments, such as Agriculture, Homeland Security and Energy as well as local organizations such as Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.

"Drones will certainly have a purpose and a reason to be in this region in the next, coming years," said Fairfax County Police Chief David Rohrer, while speaking on WTOP's "Ask the Chief" program on Monday. "Just as a standpoint as an alternative for spotting traffic and sending information back to our VDOT Smart Traffic centers, and being able to observe backups."

The use of drones over U.S. soil has some in Congress concerned about Americans' privacy rights.

"The potential for invasive surveillance of daily activities with drone technology is high," wrote Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., in an April 19 letter to FAA. "We must ensure that as drones take flight in domestic airspace, they don't take off without privacy protections for those along their flight path."

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said in the same letter he "proudly suppported" the FAA Modernization and Reform Act that allowed for the domestic use of drones. There are many institutions in his home state that the FAA has cleared for drone use, including Texas A&M University, and the police forces in the city of Arlington outside Dallas-Fort Worth and in Montgomery County near Houston.

"However, if used improperly or unethically, drones could endanger privacy and I want to make sure that risk is taken into consideration," he said.

The police chief of Prince William County, Va., which neighbors Fairfax, is not as focused on the prospect of the alternative monitoring system.

"I really haven't studied them that much," says Police Chief Charlie Dean. "I'm sure they're valuable to some degree, but I don't know about their capabilities."

The police chiefs also discussed their officers' involvement in seeking out illegal immigrants.

Prince William County has received national attention for its aggressive policy of checking the immigration status of every person arrested.

Victims of crimes and witnesses are exempt from such questioning, Deane said Monday. He supported the policy as "fair, lawful and reasonable."

Upon learning that an arrested person is an illegal immigrant, Prince William police officers then turn over their information to federal authorities, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Fairfax County officers are not required to ask about immigration status after making an arrest, says Rohrer, though officers are trained to ask if they suspect someone might be in the country illegally.

"We are not a sanctuary," he says.

Learn more about police officers' use of cellphones -- and a potential ban for them -- as well as speed cameras and domestic violence in Northern Virginia, among other issues, in our live blog:

10:56 a.m., speaking about license plate readers:

Rohrer: We retain that data for less than a year. We understand the issues about privacy. We're able to keep that for longer if we determine we should.

Deane: We keep it for less than a year. "It's fascinating data."

10:54 a.m., speaking about staff levels:

Deane: Our population went up 25,000, but we've had no increases in police officers. We'll have 11 more next year, which is a start. I think we should be adding around 25 a year, due to population and the complexity of our work.

It's not just about crime, it's about traffic and other complex crimes.

Rohrer: I do think we're keeping pace with population growth. We've had cuts in the last years, we are a lean organization. It's about one police officer per 1,000 resident.

It's not just next year for me, but the next couple of years.

The Metro is due to open around Tysons Corner next year.

10:53 a.m., speaking about snatch-and-grab robberies:

Rohrer: We're seeing them, but not as much as other jurisdictions. I want to commend D.C. Chief Lanier on the tactics she's taken, such as having the phone companies "brick" the phones so they cannot be reused.

10:51 a.m., speaking about over-the-county allergy medicine used to make methamphetamines:

Rohrer: Those laws help us track the movement of trafficking methamphetamines.

Deane: We are seeing more prescription drugs being abused.

The drug take-back programs, such as the DEA's, are "very good."

10:41 a.m., speaking about immigration:

Deane: Our policy is simple. We investigate the immigration policy of anyone who is arrested, regardless of their nationality.

From a policy standpoint, we focus on individuals who are in the country illegally who have committed a crime. We are not doing random checks.

Part of our policy, very firmly entrenched with our officers, is to protect the status of people who are victims of crimes, regardless of their immigration status. "We do not participate in racial profiling."

We report any illegal immigrants to federal law enforcement.

It's certainly an increase in work "but it's a part of our business today."

"It's policy that we must check their immigration status."

The press scrutiny can be a distraction, but the policy we came up with is "fair, lawful and reasonable."

Rohrer: Prince William's policy goes further than ours. We don't ask everyone who is arrested. "What matters to us is their behavior."

Roughly 30 percent of our residents are foreign-born. "We have to do what we can to have a balanced policy."

The Secure Communities federal program gets a lot of attention. The sheriff's office participates in that, but our officers don't have a say in that.

I've never banned our officers from asking those questions. They might have a suspicion about illegal immigration.

"We are not a sanctuary."

10:36 a.m., speaking about concealed-carry firearm permits:

Deane: It doesn't matter. You can have it concealed, because that's what you have a permit for. My advice is to tell the officers that you have it when they stop you.

10:35 a.m., speaking about recent stabbing attacks on horses:

Rohrer: I wish I had more information. It was a vicious attack, but the horses are back in service this morning.

10:34 a.m., speaking about using unmanned aerial drones:

Deane: I haven't studied it, but we see that equipment at conferences.

Rohrer: I think drones will certainly have a purpose to be in this region in the near future, at least for traffic, and observing backups.

10:31 a.m., speaking about speed cameras:

Rohrer: Without a doubt, it brings down speeding.

I know I wouldn't win chief of the year for encouraging that, since it isn't very popular.

Deane: I am in support. It should not be about money, it should be about controlling speeding.

I went to London recently, and "I was struck by how people leaving distances, and don't cut in suddenly," for the cameras around Heathrow airport.

Rohrer: I disagree that it should be applied strategically.

10:25 a.m., speaking about domestic violence:

Rohrer: We have a lot of work to do. It's one of my top priorities. There are far too many cases that go unreported. I encourage everyone -- "it's a human right, not just a legal right" -- to report these incidents.

10:20 a.m., speaking about safety during car chases:

Deane: It's all about risk analysis. It's an ongoing analysis of the risk of the case, how violent it is, what kind of case it is, whether you can identify the person later.

"If it isn't a violent case, the chase might not be worthwhile at all."

Weather, traffic, speed are all taken into account. Whether it's near a school zone or during school hours.

Police supervisors are required to "fire up" and take control of pursuits.

We're more restrictive than when I came in today.

Officers are allowed to pursue people over county lines. There are restrictions regarding pursuit into D.C.

Rohrer: Our officers are allowed to use, in limited situations, tactical maneuvers to force a car to stop. They have to consider the size and speed of the road.

We tightened our policy about 10 years ago. There are only certain crimes that are allowed to continue over county or state lines.

A stolen car, and the six months in jail for that perpetrator, are not worth the risk, probably, in a suburban neighborhood.

10:16 a.m., speaking about officers using cellphones while driving:

Deane: We encourage our officers not to use hands-on phones while driving, but we have not banned it. They're used to dealing with multiple communication devices at once.

"I anticipate we'll be prohibiting it over time."

Rohrer: I'm not ready to go that far. "There are times when they'll have to do things while driving."

In Virginia, regular drivers cannot use the device while driving, even checking text messages.

10:10 a.m., speaking about gangs problem, including sex trafficking:

Rohrer: We received information that a subset of the Crips gang was trafficking young women, approaching them on Facebook and on the streets. It seems they recruited them very easily. They were underage in many cases, from 15-17 years old, up to the mid 20s.

We take this very seriously, but gang crime is a very small portion of our overall crime.

"I want our residents to feel safe."

Most of our gang crime is property, from graffiti.

Deane: We tap into the Northern Virginia task force on crime. It helps us keep track of individuals moving across borders. It's very important we know who is affiliated with whom. We get that information from vehicles, tattoos, and gang names. That helps us determine who commits these crimes.

Rohrer: We have very strong laws on the books to prosecute gangs.

Deane: Those were started by some incidents in Northern Virginia and pushed through the legislature.

10:07 a.m., speaking about BRAC:

Rohrer: We're blessed to have the jobs. Now we need to work on the traffic implications.

10:05 a.m., speaking about traffic

Deane: We do everything we can to keep traffic moving, such as motorcycle officers who can get to accidents quickly. We have push-bumpers on cars to help move vehicles out of the way.

The most important thing is for people to keep themselves safe after getting into an accident:

Rohrer: It only takes one accident to back the roads up. It would help if people knew alternate routes. "When that gets messed up, they tend to just stop and not know where to go."

Our close partner is VDOT. We have an information center we share with them.

Prince William County Police Chief Charlie Deane and Fairfax County Police Chief David Rohrer. (WTOP/Paul D. Shinkman)
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Re: Chief: Drones 'certainly' coming to skies over Beltway
Posted by: Sarah Connor ()
Date: May 07, 2012 03:04AM

............

Skynet Research Informational Video

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Re: Chief: Drones 'certainly' coming to skies over Beltway
Posted by: The Convict ()
Date: May 11, 2012 04:31AM

Can you imagine the hue and cry that will come out when one of these devices crashes, especially if it crashes into traffic, a shopping mall or an elementary school and, especially so, if said crash occurs because of loss of signal for the remote control?

And, just out of curiosity, do these drones have "blackboxes" on them?

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: KK ()
Date: May 11, 2012 10:46AM

Just Remember:

Big Brother is Wathcing You!

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: BEH ()
Date: May 11, 2012 10:52AM

Sounds like a good way for the cops to keep tabs on the jigs, the beaners and the donuts.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: NRA 75 ()
Date: May 11, 2012 11:14AM

I hope these are used on Prius and other hybrid drivers "hypermiling" in the left lane. Get the fuck outta my way bitches, engage with the hellfire missiles! :)

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: joemktg ()
Date: May 12, 2012 09:46AM

You want traffic conditions? Go to one of the traffic cam sites, e.g., http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/traffic-commuting, or turn on the radio.

On the other hand, it will take to the air with an objective, and it's going to assist the grounded FCPD in their efforts to apprehend suspects. There's two way communication between the air and the ground, with air support providing specific information to the officers in cars and on foot. End result is a safer environment.

Of course, to RJ's point, I'm referring to the Fairfax County Police Helicopter Division. Replace helo with drone: what's the difference?

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: whoisRJ ()
Date: May 12, 2012 10:05AM

joemktg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Of course, to RJ's point, I'm referring to the
> Fairfax County Police Helicopter Division. Replace
> helo with drone: what's the difference?


$ and safety. Drone can stay up much longer, less fuel cost and maintenance is easier. Who is RJ?

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: FFX County Resident ()
Date: May 12, 2012 10:13AM

OK, Everyone missed the big picture. The war(s) is dwiddling down, even before the pres speech yesterday. Well, what are you going to do with the personnel, training, and aerial assets that "YOUR" tax dollar paid for already, and the big companies who own these things? You can't just throw those out the window or put them on the shelf. You got to pass them down to the local police, DHS or other government agencies to use. It keeps employment numbers up, and maintains certain skill sets. Traffic eye in the sky? Don't think so. Those platforms (UAVs) soar a tremendous heights and and have aerial longivity without refueling. FAA won't allow them to go under certain altitude. So, people stopping and gaulking shouldn't be an issue. They will be used for other purposes. Privacy? Well, once you walk out of the house, in a bikini to sun bathe, grab the morning paper, or the mail, it doesn't exist. You are open to the general public and big brother's eye. Don't get me wrong, liberties and freedom are all valid points as noted by preminent figures in history and the Constitution, but.....in today's society, security concerns, public interests, and safety are all a small part in world of living in Washington (and the rest of the nation). They (Gov't) has to ensure the fine line is not crossed.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: news on the eights ()
Date: May 12, 2012 10:15AM

I wonder if Lisa Baden will hijack the Fairfax drone and fly it to Father Hurley Blvd

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Terry ()
Date: May 12, 2012 10:17AM

Work on ways to improve the exchange of information before simply getting more of it. Need to have effective and timely means of distribution so there can be a dynamic response that's not held up by too narrow a "pipeline". Lastly, are there sufficient "receivers" to hear, process and deliver these different types data as it won't be just "traffic" that's on the agenda and monitor screens.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: JLovaas ()
Date: May 12, 2012 11:36AM

Now this is wasteful spending!

High tech toys for the police when they have not even figured out how to use them or what they in fact can do.

Check out the fleets of high tech vehicles of every description, SWAT vehicles and weapons for an army, and the helicopter force the police alreay overspend millions on.

Better to provide a living wage for county workers at poverty wages under fat contracts than this certifiable waste of my tax dollars.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Eye in the Sky ()
Date: May 12, 2012 12:06PM

These things see with a single narrowly focused camera looking down at traffic and maybe another narrowly focused camera looking for obstacles.

They are going to fly into things.

On a battlefield or remote mountains, ok, fine.

In Fairfax County, this is a bad idea.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: NRA 75 ()
Date: May 13, 2012 08:07AM

Just zap the Prius and other hybrids in the left lane. Then I'll support drones.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: sburbnite ()
Date: May 13, 2012 08:59AM

The only good thing I can say about this is that they would be quieter than the helicopters that already rattle my walls. That said, I got a wise fortune cookie many years ago that I have never forgotten:

Security is very nice, but loss of freedom is the price.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Olde Farte, II ()
Date: May 13, 2012 09:24AM

sburbnite Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The only good thing I can say about this is that
> they would be quieter than the helicopters that
> already rattle my walls...

I'm not sure substituting high frequency noise for low frequency noise is a win.

I =am= assuming, though, that these guys are NOT going to be used for general moseying-around surveillance but more for directed observation that is way temporary.

I hope.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Brenchick ()
Date: May 13, 2012 09:29AM

Rohrer said the drones could be used to monitor traffic conditions and backups on area roadways.

That sounds nice. Call me a skeptic but we all know there’s something more. Maybe see accidents in real time and help coordinate Police and Rescue response times. However, we all know that the underlying “value added” purpose of the drone is to issue speeding, reckless driving and other moving violation tickets that traffic cops on the ground would otherwise miss. God forbid you find yourself on a open road and your foot gets a little too heavy or you forget to use you blinker. Don’t worry, Big Brother’s eye in the sky will let you know if you’ve overstepped your bounds.

Every politician loves a cost efficient revenue generator! Maybe the ones who really should be worried are the motorcycle cops.

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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: Peacemaker ()
Date: June 21, 2012 04:54AM

This is just what Fairfax needs...


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Re: Drones Could Be Coming to Fairfax County
Posted by: CERTenly3456765 ()
Date: June 21, 2012 11:42AM

CERT does not use drones. They are very cool. I like how they fly and things, very cool.

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