Indiana police want drones but laws restrict their usage

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s two largest police departments want drones to help monitor large gatherings or monitor traffic at large events, but state law restricts drone usage.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana State Police are looking into acquiring drones. At least 10 Indiana police agencies own drones.

Indiana state law says police departments are allowed to use drones for search-and-rescue efforts, to record crash scenes and to help in emergencies, but otherwise a warrant is required in order to use a drone.

That means police likely won’t be able to fly them near large gatherings unless a terrorist attack or crime is feared.

The Federal Aviation Administration also has a set of guidelines and certification levels for drone usage.