Indiana’s two largest police departments both want drones; one for crowd surveillance at major gatherings Downtown, the other to monitor traffic at events such as the Indiana State Fair.
There’s just one problem. Both uses appear to be against the law in Indiana.
As the cost of drones drops and police departments rush to acquire the latest technology, officers are finding it difficult to navigate a tangled web of federal and state policies. They also face ethical questions. How will the community respond to cameras in the skies? And what are the appropriate uses?
Across the country, more than 340 public safety agencies either have drones or the authorization to fly them, according to an April report from the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. More purchases occurred last year than all previous years combined, the report found.
And when it comes to finding ways to use them, well, the sky is the limit — which has created some concerns.