Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Wednesday there were no "Big Brother" aspects to an airborne video-surveillance program over Compton that was tested in 2012.
Nicole Nishida, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said the program was limited in scope and the department did not see a need to announce it because the city already used ground surveillance cameras in any areas.
"Citizens weren't notified because cameras were already installed in Compton on the ground," she said. "The Sheriff's Department is always seeking to use advanced technology to improve its capabilities."
She said there was no "Big Brother" aspect to the system, which captured a large area but without much detail. "It couldn't distinguish a man from woman or SUV from a compact car. The images were black and white," she said.
Officials said the department decided the program was not useful and dropped it after the test period.