The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department admitted to testing an airborne video-surveillance program on Compton residents without notifying them, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The program ran for nine days in January 2012, during which a video camera was mounted on a small plane that was deployed for six-hour periods during the day, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement released Tuesday.
"No notification to the residents was made because this system was being tested in a city where cameras were already deployed and the system was only being evaluated," the statement said.
Officials said the department decided to drop the program after the testing period because the quality of the video taken was not sufficient to allow authorities to identify people who might have been involved in breaking the law, the Times reported.
"With respect to concerns about surveillance or being spied on as I know was being reported in the media, the footage that this high altitude camera that was on the bottom of the plane picked up would not make that possible," said Capt. Leonard McCray.
Compton Mayor Aja Brown has asked the Sheriff's Department for more transparency in the future, a local NBC affiliate reported.
"I do agree with the mayor, absolutely, that we should make sure that we do dialogue, and that that information is disseminated," Capt. McCray said. "If for no other reasons just to answer questions that may come up as we're answering now."
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