Legislation to expand police drone use moves forward

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Police drones may soon be used for monitoring traffic, taking photos of crime scenes, and even crowd control under legislation that cleared a House committee Wednesday morning.

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Currently, drones can only be used by law enforcement to search for missing persons, chase suspects, and prevent imminent damage to life or property. Bill sponsor Representative Clay Yarborough says it’s caused confusion in some situations for law enforcement.

“In October of 2017 down at the University of Florida was Richard Spencer. You had a Sheriff and law enforcement there who were unsure whether they could use drones because it was not specifically laid out in the law. So this would help to address situations like there where it clearly would help to have that aerial perspective," said Yarborough.

Some lawmakers had concerns that the expanded list of uses might be exploited. Yarborough says existing law addresses those issues.