Scott Thistle
Sun Journal
May 9, 2013

In a narrow decision, lawmakers accepted an amendment to a bill offered by Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, that could allow police to use a drone without a search warrant.

In a 7-6 vote on May 1, the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee sided with Maine Attorney General Janet Mills on the issue of how police can employ unmanned aerial vehicles in criminal investigations.

The bill, as approved by the committee, sets a one-year moratorium on the use of drones by law enforcement in Maine, except in emergencies, while the state’s Criminal Justice Academy studies drone use and issues a report to the Legislature in 2014, including suggested protocols for police use.

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