Readers React

ACLU says no to LAPD drones

To the editor: For the second time this year, the ACLU of Southern California learned in newsprint that, according to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, we are collaborating with the LAPD to draft a drones policy. As noted in a correction published by The Times on Wednesday, this is not true. We are not working with the LAPD on a drones policy, nor have we seen the department's proposed policy. ("Drones and the LAPD," Op-Ed, Nov. 16)

As the ACLU has previously stated, we question whether the marginal benefits of drones programs in California justify the serious threats to privacy they pose, and we remain opposed to drones for the LAPD.

Beck says he plans to solicit and consider public input about the LAPD's drones policy — and whether it should use drones at all — before they take to the skies. That transparency is a good thing.

But until the public can judge the LAPD's drones policy for itself, the department should refrain from using us as cover.

Hector O. Villagra, San Gabriel

The writer is executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.

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