Take Air Grady Judd's $5M "loitering" spy plane off the consent agenda, county commissioners
Sheriff Showtime is about to spend up to $5M of your money on something built to surveil you. And the County Commission has buried it deeeeeep in its consent agenda. Nice job, George, Neil, etc. LOL.
UPDATE (Sunday 8:40 a.m.): County Commissioner Bill Braswell told me Saturday night that is pulling the spy plane item off the consent agenda. Braswell said he told County Manager Bill Beasley on Friday and that the agenda will change on Monday.
Now the commission should delay the vote to allow Sheriff Grady Judd to provide detailed accounting of the spy planes capabilities and who has access to its images.
UPDATE: The spy plane came up in Friday’s agenda work session, which is where many elected officials attempt to have substantive policy discussions where it’s easier to keep the public at arm’s length. Here’s the link. The discussion starts at 55:56.
A deputy speaks to the commission about the plane, which is, in fact, the Kodiak 100, as I suspected. I’m not going to spend my Saturday transcribing the meeting. If you’ve got the time, go for it. The item remains on consent agenda. The County Commission should pull it off consent agenda for Tuesday and demand that sheriff himself come and explain the purpose and safeguards of the plane for the public that is paying for it.
Request Board approve a transfer from reserves to the Sheriff’s Budget for the purchase of a Kodiak fixed wing aircraft and imaging system. (Up to $5,000,000 one-time expense)
That’s it. LOL. There is no other explanation on the agenda item. And it is literally buried at the bottom of the consent agenda. See below.
That means your Polk County Commission plans to approve this “fixed wing aircraft and imaging system” along with the rest of the consent agenda as its first official act during Tuesday’s meeting with zero public discussion or questioning or explanation. Petty dictatorships are funny things.
We don’t even have enough information to know what type of “Kodiak fixed wing aircraft and imaging system” Sheriff Showtime is forcing us to buy so that he can “image” us more crisply. My best guess is this, the Kodiak 100. See video and info here and below.
“It can loiter virtually undetected for up to 10 hours at very slow speeds” seems noteworthy — as does the ISR acronym, which means “Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.”
“A stealthy and effective ISR tool” for what missions, exactly, Grady?
So let’s recap: Grady is about to spend $5M of your money on a Kodiak platform so he can loiter over your backyard pool undetected for hours and “image” you and your loved ones.
Or maybe, it will “loiter” over the next peaceful protest he pretends is a riot and “image” your faces so he can order deputies to hunt you down like he did with the panty-tossing lady.
Can the “imaging” technology see through walls and read thermal signatures inside homes, in bedrooms, etc.? I bet it can.
These are all as plausible as any other ISR “mission” Grady has told us he plans to fly with this $5M dictatorship toy. (He has told us about none.) Keep in mind, this is the same Sheriff Showtime who claims body cameras on police officers are an invasion of the public’s privacy. LOL. It seems like a fleet of drones would at least be cheaper than this Rolls Royce of government snooping.
Mostly, I suspect this plane comes from the same tendency to dictatorship, personal indulgence, and self-aggrandizement that leads Grady to surround himself with a cordon of deputies at any outdoor public event to prevent Antifa from making a run at him or something.
What is the point of your public existence, Neil Combee, Martha Santiago, George Lindsay, Rick Wilson, and Bill Braswell?
I would appeal to the sense of shame or dignity or, even, perish the thought, duty elected Polk County commissioners might feel to represent the public’s fiscal and privacy interests in this dictatorship toy transaction.
But what’s the point?
I have to tell George Lindsay a $5M domestic spy plane purchase shouldn’t be on the consent agenda? I have to tell Bill Braswell that he should at least make Grady explain exactly what he plans to do with dictatorship toy?
That is beyond embarrassing. George and Neil, is there any chance either of you would have let a $5M spy plane pass on the consent agenda a decade ago? What happened to ya’ll? You were formidable once.
My dudes — and dudette — I went toe-to-toe with Grady Judd at the peak of his power in public after Parkland and won. Polk County public school teachers are not packing heat today. And nobody’s punished me for it yet.
This deteriorating shell of Grady’s former self is not worth your fear.
Do your jobs. Make him justify his $5 million dictatorship toy in public. And if he doesn’t have a good explanation, tell him No for once in his life.