Sheriff drone program takes off

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office is in the midst of acquiring five drones, part of a program exposed at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting when a Sausalito man called on the county to hold off on the acquisition until rules are put in place to protect the public from surveillance. 

The Sheriff’s Office approved a policy in June that authorizes the use of the aerial systems in post-incident crime scene preservation and documentation; explosive ordnance disposal and hazardous spill response; search and rescue, public safety, life preservation and training missions; disaster response and recovery; fire response and prevention; and pursuant to a search warrant or consent. 

According to Lieutenant Jeff Edwards, the five drones will arrive in the next 60 to 90 days. But until the devices arrive, the greatest challenge facing the department may be public perception of the program, which was leaked by Frank Shinneman, a Sausalito resident

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