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Diverse coalition pushes regulation of drones in Va.; police are opposed

January 22, 2013 | VACP

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A diverse coalition of organizations and Virginia lawmakers wants to regulate the use of drones by law enforcement.

Police say not so fast. They say legislation awaiting General Assembly action could stymie legitimate law enforcement efforts, and more study is needed.

One of the General Assembly’s most conservative members, Del. Todd Gilbert of Shenandoah County, said Tuesday that unfettered government use of small, unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with cameras poses a threat to Virginians’ privacy rights. His bill to regulate the use of drones is backed by the ACLU and the Virginia Tea Party Federation — groups that don’t normally see eye-to-eye — along with state agriculture organizations.

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the legislation.

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