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Michigan State Police Will Be First Law Enforcement Agency to Use a Drone Statewide

Paul Bohn, Esq.

We wrote a little while back about the latest trend of recreational drone usage. While the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) has tried to slow the increasing use of these UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) with regulatory measures, drones are probably coming to a neighborhood near you whether you like it or not.

And now, the Michigan State Police have become the first law enforcement agency in the country with permission to use a drone statewide. The State Police purchased the drone back in September 2013 and have been working with the FAA to come into safety and training compliance.

The drones will be utilized in search and rescue missions, and crime scene and accident investigations.

While this approval signifies progress for drone advocates, the news has prompted privacy concerns.

Legislation was introduced last session to regulate the police use of drones, but nothing ever came of the bill. Privacy proponents are hopeful that similar legislation will be introduced again and passed.

“There are legitimate uses but it's important that we rein in big brother," said former state Rep. Tom McMillin. “I really wanted to make sure there is reporting on how it's being used. If they are recording things that they shouldn't, that stuff should be destroyed. We don't just want them flying around watching people."

Check out our last blog on drones and the legal complications with their popularity here:

Read more on this story in the Detroit Free Press:

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