What are Ohio police allowed to do with drones?

Posted at 12:36 AM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 00:36:45-05

BLUE ASH, Ohio -- Drones are a tool used by everyone from the United States government to Amazon to -- apparently -- the selfie-obsessed, but legislation hasn't always moved at the same pace as technology. 

"It's an area that's really uncharted at this point," police Lt. Steve Schueler said.

Schueler isn't a lawmaker, but he wants to make sure police departments in Ohio will use drone technology responsibly as it becomes an increasingly common element in law enforcement.

According to him, sheriff's offices, fire departments and emergency responders are all incorporating drone video into procedures such as crash reconstruction and scene surveillance.

That's why he took part in a task force writing 56 pages of statewide guidelines for police departments that use drones.

These guidelines -- which include advice about the safe operation of drones as well as their ethical use -- are intended to create a shared standard of operation and transparency across the state.

"By not being open with the public about how you're using this nice tool, the possibility is there that it might be taken away from you," he said. "Nobody has an interest in peeping in windows and things like that. We're there to enhance our ability to do our job."

Watch the video above to see one of Blue Ash's police drones in action.