The Baltimore Sun had reported that Gov. Larry Hogan has pledged $21 million to assist Baltimore in their efforts to quash the ongoing homicide spree in Baltimore. Part of the endorsement includes the use of a surveillance plane to record the movement of cars and people throughout the city.
For Baltimore this is nothing new. In 2015 it was reported the FBI was conducting surveillance flyovers during the riots. Later, Persistent Surveillance Systems conducted over 300 hours over the city in 2016 as part of a pilot program. At the time Hogan urged the city publicly to adopt the program saying “We urge you to implement this program immediately,”
It would appear that the Governor has not abandoned the idea of air based surveillance for law enforcement. Not everyone is on board however. David Rocah, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Maryland said ” Governor Hogan is as wrong and misguided as Ross McNutt…His endorsement of it demonstrates the contempt with which he holds the residents of Baltimore, who are the ones who will have a virtual police officer following their every movement ― not the governor.“
Baltimore’s problem is not just murders and petty crimes, it is one of the most corrupt cities in the United States. It is not unreasonable that if the surveillance plane program is successful again, we may see it rolled out across the U.S. under guise of safety in cities and towns that are already quite safe.