New Florida Senate bill could pave way for police drones
The new bill would allow for increased use of police drones to collect crime scene evidence, investigate a traffic crash, or even to direct traffic, by law enforcement agencies.
The real-time crime center in Lee County is already used to monitoring 24 high-tech police drones, reports NBC2 News.
“These drones give us a snapshot and real time picture to make sure we don’t go into a situation blind,” said Lee Sheriff Carmine Marceno.
On Thursday morning one of the police drones was used to safely locate a suicidal man.
“Because of the drone we were safely able to bring them back,” Marceno pointed out.
Republican Representative Michael Giallombardo introduced the new bill that aims to expand the use of police drones.
“They can use a drone to collect evidence or sometimes be able to redirect traffic and to speed things up,” Giallombardo said.
The new bill would allow police drones to be used to monitor crowds of more than 50 people. As we have seen in other parts of the country, some people have expressed concerns about the police drone invading people’s privacy, however, Giallombardo said that wouldn’t happen.
“They still have to obtain a warrant to search people’s property or can’t go on private property with it or look in people’s backyards. Those things are still protected,” he said.
The new bill would allow expanding the use of police drones, however, Giallombardo said that the unmanned aircraft could not be used to hand out speeding or traffic tickets.
The new House Bill 1049 must pass both houses and needs to be signed by the governor before coming into effect. We will keep an eye on these developments and report here on DroneXL is the use of police drones in Florida will indeed be expanded.
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