Drones Over Tampa? 'Unmanned Aerial Vehicles' on Request for 2012 GOP Convention

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The security at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., next year looks to be even more intense than security at past GOP gatherings, and could include the surveillance vehicles also known as "drones":

TAMPA -- This city now has five surveillance cameras watching traffic downtown, but next year's Republican National Convention could bring hundreds more on the street and in the sky.

Among other things, officials are interested in:

• 164 cameras able to read a number 3 inches high at 300 meters in the day and identify people and vehicles at 100 meters in the dark. Many of these would be mounted on light poles.

• Two "unmanned aerial vehicles" that could hover for 20 minutes, fly in 20-knot winds and carry cameras with zoom lenses or thermal imaging capabilities.

• 20 helmet cameras with 2 1/2 hours of recording time to document crowd disturbances.

Read the full story at The St. Petersburg Times.

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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