New technology watches you from the sky


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Whether you like it or not, you are being watched by high tech satellites all in the name of crime prevention.

Put that technology to work and crime in the City of Dayton could decrease by as much as 50 percent, but it comes at a price, not a dollar amount, but something you may take for granted.

Persistent Surveillance Systems is a Beavercreek based company using manned aircraft to monitor crime in a city in Mexico and it is working.

Dr. Ross McNutt, president of the company, gave us an example.

“To being able to identify 12 people that are involved, 12 locations, two cartel headquarters, basically able to solve that they would’ve had no information to start the investigation.”

It is technology that could be used in our area.

He showed 2 NEWS how the camera takes an image every second. It is enough to be able to see a person as one pixel, not enough to tell who they are, but it can show where they go, even miles away, after leaving a crime scene.

“We’ve shown it at Tech Fest. We’ve trained young kids on how to track murders and they get really excited about it. Most of the parents say, ‘well, why aren’t we using it?”

2 NEWS asked Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley whether she would consider using the technology in Dayton?

“Is it an issue of privacy?” “Yeah, it’s a privacy issue. It’s balance on the cameras. You know cameras that are in the public right-of-way are absolutely accepted,” said Mayor Whaley.

She says the eye in the sky hasn’t been accepted by the community.

“There’s still an expectation of in your own home, the privacy in your own yard that it is private, so the city stands behind that.”

Dr. McNutt says the company has spent two years refining their privacy policy with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Mayor Whaley cites the technology being expensive and it only working in the daylight as reasons for not jumping on board.

“When you’re talking about a community that’s trying to get police officers on the street, that’s not really going to be as helpful to us as to what needs to happen for technology coverage.”

Persistent Surveillance Systems says they are hoping to be contracted out for their first U.S. city within the next few weeks.

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