Miami-Dade may deploy blanket surveillance from the air

MIAMI (AP) — Police in a Florida county may deploy aerial surveillance already used in Baltimore and other cities to investigate crimes.

The Miami Herald reported ( ) Thursday that Miami-Dade police proposed using planes capable of photographing everyone outside for 32 square miles (51 kilometers) to fly above high-crime neighborhoods.

Police spokesman Lt. Juan Villalba Jr. says the footage would allow police to see what happened, similar to a digital video recorder.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration is asking the county for retroactive approval of federal money that could total $1.2 million for testing the system. Police say they didn’t have time to request the grant’s approval before the application deadline.

Miami’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter says the request should be withdrawn until protections are put into place for county residents’ privacy.