Madison College to train police on use of drones

November 28, 2014

   

Madison College is currently developing a program focused on training law enforcement officers on how to properly and ethically operate drones.

MADISON - Madison College is developing a program to train law enforcement officers on how to properly and ethically operate drones.

Several law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are considering using drones, after a Senate bill passed last year allows for use of the unmanned aerial vehicles. The legislation requires agencies to obtain a search warrant before using drones to collect evidence, but there are exceptions during certain emergencies such as search-and-rescue operations. Critics are concerned the law is broadly written and problematic.

A news outlet reported that Madison College is coming up with training that will show police and firefighters how to fly the aerial devices, as well as how to use them ethically.

"There's a concern about the public perception ... and that is why we feel the need to provide the safe and ethical training on the devices and where it cannot be used," said Brian Landers, chairman of the Criminal Justice Department at Madison College. "Police officers are not going to be trained to fly over neighborhoods and just randomly look for things," he added.

Landers said drones have the potential to save lives, by giving authorities a way to get eyes on something from a distance. The devices could also save taxpayers money.

Chris Ahmuty, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union on Wisconsin, said the state law is weak, and there must be guidelines to protect citizens' privacy.

Associated Press