Ohio Advisory Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems Issues Report

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that his Advisory Group on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has issued its final report, which includes a model policy for use by law enforcement.

“With advancements in technology and a decrease in the cost of unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned aircraft have become more common in communities and as tools of law enforcement,” said Attorney General DeWine. “The recommendations in this report will help law enforcement develop best practices and protocols that will ensure appropriate privacy, accountability, and oversight when unmanned aircraft are used.”

Unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly referred to as drones, can be used by law enforcement for a number of investigative purposes, such as crime scene and traffic accident investigations, missing persons cases, SWAT operations, and active shooter incidents.

In addition to the creation of a model policy, the report made 14 recommendations, which addressed topics such as licensure, training, protocols, and data/records management.

As a result of the recommendations, DeWine also announced that the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is crafting three new advanced courses on investigating UAS complaints, appropriate law enforcement uses for UAS, and implementation of UAS programs.

DeWine created the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on UAS in October 2016. The group was comprised of subject-matter experts and was chaired Cuyahoga Community College Police Chief Clayton Harris.