27 April 2023
Donuts and drones. San Francisco supervisors—and the City District Attorney—are looking to deploy police drones to keep an eye on potentially dangerous car side shows, where drivers meet to do donuts and other stunts.
"Sideshows are a growing problem in my district," said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who feels that drones can monitor the "pop up" events, capture license plate numbers, and identify participants from a safe distance.
This week, Mandelman—along with supervisors Myrna Melgar, Matt Dorsey, Ahsha Safai, and Catherine Stefani—submitted a letter of inquiry asking San Francisco's Committee on Information Technology to work with the police to recommend a drone action for full board approval.
"This is a common-sense solution that will deter this dangerous behavior and provide useful evidence that will assist in prosecution," stated SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.
However, some are concerned the police may also deploy drone surveillance in other areas, such as residential districts. Once the COIT and SFPD develop the policy, it will require approval from the Board of Supervisors before it can be activated.