A bill limiting how police can use unmanned aircraft, or drones, passed its fourth committee stop unanimously on Tuesday. Senate sponsor Joe Negron (R-Palm City) said, with many Florida police departments already purchasing drones, it’s time to protect the privacy of law-abiding citizens.
“We know we’re on the cusp of drones becoming used in widespread circumstances, so I think it’s a good place to put some ground rules to say, ‘Here’s when you can use them and here’s when you can’t use them,’” Negron said.
Police could not use drones for general surveillance but could use them when they have search warrants, in cases of national security threats and when they believe missing persons or hostages are in imminent danger.
The bill moves next to the Senate Appropriations Committee. And the House version of the bill has passed all of its committee stops already.