On February 8th, 2013 at 3:50 pm a drone was sighted hovering above a neighborhood in West Oakland. There didn’t seem to be a focus, it just maintained it’s position above properties. It is not known at this point what agency or individual was operating the craft.
Alameda Sheriff’s recently released their intended policies around the use of drones. You can take a read here
Once introduced into their arsenal, they would be used for a variety of purposes ranging from counter terrorism operations, chases, search and rescue, surveillance, as well as other operations.
Update: According to locals, another drone was spotted hovering over Oakland earlier today. This is the second sighting in a month.
Alameda Sheriff released a draft of their drone policy this year. They are currently in dispute with the community who are largely opposed to the police purchasing drones.