Baltimore City announced last week the return of a surveillance plane program that will use high-tech sensors to monitor citizens and help deter violent crime, reported WJZ Baltimore.
Police Commissioner Michael Harrison held a press conference Friday about three new spy planes that could hit the skies by May 2020.
Harrison said the new pilot program could utilize as many as three spy planes and will test whether the planes can aid investigators in solving violent crimes.
Ross McNutt, the president of Persistent Surveillance Systems, the company that operates the spy planes, told WJZ that the aircraft would be used to "save as many lives as possible." McNutt said as many as three planes could start flying next May.
Ross McNutt, the president of Persistent Surveillance Systems, tells #WJZ, “We’re trying to save as many lives as possible.” He says there were ongoing discussions with city leaders and police about putting the planes back in the sky. 3 will begin flying in May. @wjz pic.twitter.com/1Fg66W4fQE— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) December 20, 2019
We noted several months ago about the possibility of the planes returning to the skies of Baltimore.
Each plane has high-tech sensors that can monitor up to 32 square miles at a time, and each would fly 45 to 50 hours a week.
As early as 2015, we reported that Persistent was flying a Cessna 182T Skylane over the streets of Baltimore during the riots.
The funding for the planes will be provided by Texas billionaire philanthropists John and Laura Arnold. There's no expense to taxpayers to fly the aircraft for the first six months.
"We will be the first American city to use this technology in an effort to deter violent crime, "Harrison said. "It is important we are transparent about how the program will and will not be used going forward. "
We noted Monday morning that Baltimore City's homicide count for 2019 stands at 336, likely to breach the all-time high of 342 in the coming week, resulting in one of the worst years ever for violent crime in the city.
The resurrection of the spy plane program shows what happens when an American city implodes -- the response by politicians is to create a surveillance state.