Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Shelby Co. delays vote on Police sUAS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Shelby County Commission on Monday delayed a vote on purchasing two small remote-controlled drone helicopters after some commissioners raised questions about them being misused and infringing on individuals’ privacy.

The drones were included in the Sheriff’s Office request for other gear that also included scuba equipment. .

The Commercial Appeal ( reports the commission voted 10-1 on Monday to delay a final vote on the purchase of the helicopters, whose use was to include finding criminal suspects and investigating traffic accidents

Some commission members questioned the sheriff’s chief administrative officer, Chuck Fox, about whether the drones could be used to look into people’s windows or backyards without a warrant.

“The potential for abuse is great and there is the propensity for government to abuse its power if opportunity arises,” said commissioner Brent Taylor.

However, Fox said he didn’t expect that to happen.

“I think this is a tool that you can trust us with,” he said.

Gary Mortimer
Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.