St. Louis considers surveillance planes in crime battle


O’FALLON, Mo. – With 2020 shaping to be an especially violent year in one of the nation’s most violent cities, St. Louis leaders are considering a new tool to fight crime – surveillance planes – even as opponents worry about the further militarization of police and privacy issues.

St. Louis has spent millions on anti-crime efforts over the years, but with little success.

Alderman Tom Oldenburg’s proposal calls for contracting with a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems, which initially developed its system to aid the military in Iraq.

In May, Baltimore became the first city to try the program as a crime-fighting tool, launching a six-month trial.

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