Local police agencies anticipate more training for drones in the sky

Posted at 4:50 PM, Aug 30, 2016

A number of law enforcement agencies in the Tampa area are learning about the new regulations put into effect for the commercial use of drones in the U.S.

Officials with the Tampa Police Department tell us the Federal Aviation Administration put a webinar together for law enforcement on the new regulations.

The FAA has requested local and state agencies to help the federal government in reporting violations in different jurisdictions. 

In the request, the FAA asks law enforcement agents to report to their regional FAA operations centers. 

Florida will report to the East Regional operations center.

Police are asked to document the identity of operators and potential witnesses, the type of operation (hobby, commercial or government), the type of device and registration information and evidence collected (pictures, video, device confiscation).

Officers are also being reminded that local ordinances may come into play for the privacy and protection of the public: reckless endangerment, spying, criminal mischief, voyeurism, and inciting violence are some suggestions.

Officials with Tampa PD tell us drones may have to be covered in the bureau training for officers across the board.

Drones, if properly registered are allowed in the sky, and are not illegal -- so someone concerned about their privacy in a public place -- or their home does not have a right to destroy the device. For example, you can't shoot or damage a drone over your backyard.

And, the likelihood of seeing a drone over your home may increase as the FAA predicts as many as 600,000 drones will be used this year. 

Drones for commercial use will likely include surveying areas for research, aerial mapping for construction and utility companies and even realtors mapping areas. 

It is against the law to for someone to have a drone above your private property to run surveillance, in essence, to spy on you. 

To know if someone is invading your privacy consider where the drone is, how often it comes around, if it's a habitual occurrence and if it seems to be in certain concerning areas -- like near your bedroom windows.

As of now, there is no regulation for companies to have to notify to record aerial coverage of your property. 

However, for commercial use, Part 107 rules will apply.

This includes: drones only being used during daylight hours, up to 400 feet above the ground, yielding the right of way to other aircraft and remaining within the line of sight of a drone and its operator.