New Ordinance Could Prohibit Private Drones From Flying Over Cook County Property

CHICAGO (CBS) – A Cook County Board Committee has approved a measure prohibiting most private drones from flying over Cook County Jail and other County property.

The sponsor of the ordinance, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey said there have been a number of incidents around the country where people have flown drones onto jail property, bringing in weapons, drugs and other contraband.

“And there are also other security issues posed by the new technology of what these drones can do, what they can see, what they can carry, etc.,” Fritchey said.

He said action is needed here.

Fritchey said the ordinance would prohibit private drones from flying over Cook County owned building or property without prior authorization. There would be fines for violations and possible confiscation of the drone.

“This simply prohibits the private use of drones over county owned property without prior authorization, provides a cash penalty or a fine for violation of the act and potential confiscation of the drone.”

The ordinance would allow officials to use their own drones or authorize the use of private drones when needed, but Fritchey and others said the regulation of private drones is called for.

A toy drone was found on Cook County Jail property back in May. It was too small to hold any contraband, but it did concern the Sheriff’s Department about what could happen.

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