Local governments meet to discuss drone policy

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FORTUNA – Drones continue to grow in popularity leaving local governments with the task of regulating their use, and the League of California Cities met in Fortuna to do just that.

The Redwood Empire Division is made up of appointed representatives from Willits to Crescent City. They meet quarterly to discuss issues of common interest.

Friday’s agenda described drones as a growing hazard in the absence of tighter regulation. Fortuna City Manager Mark Wheetley shared that drones can be used for everything from finding missing persons, to photographing crime scenes or even to monitor city equipment in hard to reach areas.

The representatives also discussed some of the drawbacks including interference with firefighting aircraft and intrusions on personal privacy.

Redwood Empire Division President for the League of California Cities Sue Long said, “They can be used for good things and they can be used for bad things so it’s one of those things that the League of California Cities are starting to address and cities are starting to work on ordinances. So now we’re just waiting to see where can we use it, how can it be helpful and how can we get around some of those federal regulations that they’re starting to pass because we don’t want to break any laws.”