NASHVILLE — A bill placing restrictions on Tennessee police agencies’ use of drones passed the House and Senate today.
House members approved the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act on a 91-0 vote. Senators passed it 32-0.
Police would first have to go before a judge and obtain a search warrant to use drones except in cases of terrorist activity, hostage situations and searches for fugitives and missing people.
Under a House amendment offered by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, drones could also be used to “protect life and property during crowd monitoring situations.” Dean cited mass crowd situations at events like the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga.
That will send the bill back to the Senate for concurrence.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...