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Crime-Fighting Eyes Take to the Skies

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In what they say is the first step toward a new era in law enforcement techniques, city officials in Lancaster, Calif. are testing a small airplane mounting a high-tech surveillance camera to help fight crime. The aerial surveillance system features high-definition video recording technology that is capable of viewing people or objects several miles away and whose images can later be magnified to identify the individuals, officials said.

"You never know when you are being watched or followed. It would be stupid to commit a crime. You see it with such detail," said Mayor R. Rex Parris, who took a ride last week in a camera-equipped airplane.

Such surveillance technology is used by the military, NASA and a limited number of other federal agencies, but Lancaster would be the first entity in the United States to use it for general public safety, officials said. "I've never been so excited about anything," Parris said.


From Antelope Valley Press
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