Blimps, or small unmanned aircraft, that the newspaper and Mayor Caldwell laughed out of existence as "curious" are being used in law enforcement by numerous municipalities around the country (Jan. 10 editorial, "Deflated blimp"). The number is growing rapidly because they are a cost effective solution to help make the police officers safer and by extension, our families. This is a quote from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal on the topic: "Law-enforcement officials say the unmanned aircraft help avoid putting police in the line of fire, either by performing surveillance close to the ground, like a live officer, or by monitoring from high up, removing pilots from potential danger." A police helicopter was shot out of the sky recently in Los Angeles. Police helicopters have been used for over 50 years to perform the same function that the unmanned aircraft would, but the unmanned aircraft are much safer and much less expensive. There is another salient point from that WSJ article: "As of September, there were 285 active (FAA) permits requested by 85 government groups, including public universities, federal law-enforcement agencies and police departments." Make that 284 now that Ogden's approved permit is abandoned.
What I find "curious" is that the cabal that makes up the editorial board and Caldwell are not well read enough to understand what is happening in this area of police work, they seem to have no knowledge on these matters yet comment and make policy, making Ogden less safe. The secret editorial board writes position pieces having zero research, zero knowledge of the repercussions, zero accountability and zero intellectual curiosity.
I refer you to my letter published Aug. 7, 2011, "Crime center, blimp will provide safer community." As I wrote then and as I write now, the newspaper is destructive and dangerous to the future of Ogden. Furthermore, the paper is a disgrace for again advocating and trying to justify reducing the tools available to the police, especially in light of recent events.
The Standard-Examiner has been and perhaps city hall will become, a place where logic is an enemy and truth is a menace.