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Georgia Police Department Will Send Drones To Respond To 911 Calls

A city in Georgia will soon be sending drones out on 911 calls.

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The city of Brookhaven in Georgia will soon be sending drones out on 911 calls, and they will also be used to conduct other investigations. A measure approving funding for the drone program was approved on Tuesday night, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Brookhaven Police Department will have four drones to send out on calls and investigations. The drones can also survey crime scenes and record evidence in real-time. Footage used by the drones could also be used in court, just as dash cameras and body cameras are.

Brookhaven is just the second city in the country to adopt this kind of program. The first was the Chula Vista Police Department in California, which began a drone program in 2018. In the two years that the drone program has been active in Chula Vista, local police say that it has led to 275 arrests and removed the need for human police on at least 650 calls.

Human officers will still be sent out on calls, especially those that are most sensitive, but drones will start to take over many of the day-to-day interactions that people have with police. Brookhaven police Lt. Abrem Ayana said that the drone program is “literally a game changer,” during a city meeting on Tuesday night. 

The drones will be equipped with HD cameras that stream video back to the department’s crime center, and the cameras are also capable of using thermal imaging to more easily spot suspects at night. “It takes a lot of the hide-and-seek aspect out of hide-and-seek. We’re going to see a lot more suspects identified in crimes because a drone is going to get there first and provide information,” Ayana said.

During the meeting on Tuesday, the police department and the city council both downplayed any privacy risks that the new program could bring. Councilwoman Linley Jones said that “Privacy concerns and law enforcement are always a balancing act. But I think that this is a wonderful addition to the police force without being an extension of any intrusive nature of our policing.”

The department claims that they will not “intentionally” record “any location where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as private backyards or inside private buildings.” However, this leaves a lot of wiggle room for them to go on fishing expeditions and collect video footage from innocent people all over the city.

The department promises that all of the footage collected by the drones will be made publicly available through the Georgia Open Records Act, where body camera and dash camera footage is also available. This public availability is comforting to some and disturbing to others, considering that so much incidental footage that has nothing to do with any crimes is sure to be collected.

The drones will cost the city $83,700 for the first year, with an operating cost of $22,600 annually, but the program is expected to save the city a lot of money in the long run. The city of Brookhaven estimates sending a drone on a police call will cost only about 90% less than sending a human police officer.

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Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter

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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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