Phoenix, AZ – Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants to get his hands on some drones.
The controversial Maricopa County sheriff told ABC15 that he’s looking for a couple of unmanned (and unarmed) drones to help him keep an eye on his turf, but admitted that getting them will be difficult.
“I want two of these drones, unmanned and of course unarmed,” Arpaio said.
Getting (and using) drones requires approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which can take quite some time. Even now, Sheriff Joe is becoming impatient. He said that he was hoping he’d have both the hardware and the approval to use it months ago.
“I hope to get this done pretty quickly, I don’t like procrastination, especially bureaucracy,” he said. “These are good, useful tools.”
Arpaio didn’t go into much detail about what kind of drones he wants or what they’d be used for. He did say that he wants to use one to circle the areas above his jails.
“We do have some small problems with people throwing drugs over the fence and that is my initial plan,” he said.
He also said that they could be used for search-and-rescue, and for crime scene investigation.
“Surveillance regarding crime scenes and drugs, catching dope peddlers,” Arpaio said. In reference to crime scenes, he said, “sometimes it’s difficult to get to these areas but if you have this great equipment to take pictures it would help.”
The controversial sheriff said that he does not plan on using the drones to find and arrest illegal immigrants in the desert, despite his widely-known stance on the issue.
“No, we may use them go find dope peddlers coming into the United States, we make many drug seizures, we’re only 70 miles from the border,” said Arpaio. “But we are not going out to look at people coming into our country thinking they may be here illegally.”
Arpaio also said that privacy wasn’t a concern of his, at least concerning criminals.
“Privacy in the jails? Privacy for criminals, privacy for those with drugs? They better watch out,” he said.
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[Image: Wikimedia Commons]