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Eye In the Sky For City Crime Fighting 389

Tiger4 writes "The mayor of the City of Lancaster in the Antelope Valley of southern California is considering a high-definition video flying platform to aid in crime fighting. The aircraft, would circle the city constantly, able to zoom in on activity spots instantly. 'You never know when you are being watched or followed. It would be stupid to commit a crime. You see it with such detail,' said Mayor R. Rex Parris, who took a ride last week in a camera-equipped airplane with pilot Dick Rutan. 'I have every hope that Lancaster will be the first city to deploy it. I've never been so excited about anything.' Dick Rutan is the same pilot who flew around the world non-stop in the Voyager, custom built by his brother Burt Rutan at Scaled Composites in Mojave." The aircraft is nothing special, a garden-variety Cessna or the like, but "the camera is an example of technology developed for and used by the military making a transition to civilian applications, Rutan said."

Leveraging always beats prototyping.