LEAD: The Wyoming Legislature is considering a bill to prohibit the use of drones by law enforcement.
CONCESSION: Opponents of the bill say that drones would be a valuable tool for law enforcement to use to solve crimes, monitor dangerous situations and save lives in emergencies.
TRANSITION AND BODY: However, there is nothing to stop police from abusing the use of drones to invade people’s personal lives. Police could spy on innocent citizens going about their business on the streets, or even spy through the windows of citizens’ homes.
Many Americans don’t trust police following highly publicized incidents of alleged police abuse ranging from Ferguson, Missouri, to New York City.
House Bill 18 is “AN ACT relating to drones; specifying requirements for use of drones by law enforcement agencies; limiting use of information obtained with a drone by governmental entities; requiring reports; and providing for an effective date.”
Specifically, the bill would require law enforcement to get a search warrant from a judge before using drones in criminal cases.
CONCLUSION: While drones could aid sheriffs and police in their work, the threats to individual privacy are too great to allow law enforcement to use drones with no judicial oversight. HB 18 should be passed.