BALTIMORE — Halloween will mark the last day for the Baltimore Police Department's A.I.R pilot program, at least for now.
"Since the announcement of the A.I.R. pilot program, the department has worked during this limited duration to communicate its implementation, as independent researchers collected enough data to fully analyze and review the efficacy of the program," the department said in a statement. The Department can confirm that all flight operations for the pilot program will end on October 31, 2020, and we will continue to work with our vendor, independent evaluators and stakeholders to provide additional analysis, briefings and related activities."
The program has been one filled with controversy.
At its inception, multiple lawsuits were filed in an attempt to halt the program.
Ultimately a Federal District Court Judge let it go into effect.
"In a city plagued by violent crime and desperately in need of police protections, the public interest clearly does not favor the imposition of a preliminary injunction blocking constitutionally sound police programs," U.S. District Court Judge Richard Bennett wrote.
Those against the program say it violates citizens constitutional rights to privacy.
Meanwhile advocates dispute that saying the surveillance amounts to only a pixel or small dot that helps investigators determine if anyone was in a particular area when a violent crime occurred.
According to a September report put out by the police department, investigators cleared six homicides, six shootings, four armed robberies and a car-jacking case in the first three months of the program.
Many in Baltimore including over 75 community, business, and faith-based leaders have thrown their support behind continuing the program.
It's unclear if and when the department would launch the program again.