New law limits police use of drones in Tennessee - WSMV Channel 4

New law limits police use of drones in Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The technology is barely off the ground, but police departments in Tennessee will now have to take extra steps before using drones to monitor what people are doing.

State lawmakers say before drones become common place in law enforcement they want to make sure there are set rules on how to use them.

A new law would require law enforcement to get a search warrant before using a drone in an investigation.

There are exceptions, though, for terrorism investigations or if law enforcement is searching for a fugitive, escapee or missing person.

Many people have expressed concern about revelations the federal government has used surveillance programs to track phone calls and internet usage, so supporters of the new law say it was written to protect privacy.

"I think our individual privacy is what we're looking at and making sure that there's not something out there that makes no noise and can spy on us," said state Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet.

Metro police currently have two Draganflyer X6 unmanned aerial vehicles, and officials are still working on use policies for them.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation does not own a drone but has contracted out to use them twice for missing persons cases.

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