City commissioners were urged to make Lawrence one of the few cities in the country adopting a policy limiting the use of drones by police departments and other city agencies.
Commissioners at their weekly meeting made no promises that they would bring such an ordinance up for debate, but said they thought it was unlikely the city would be purchasing drones anytime in the foreseeable future.
“I can bet when we consider the budget this summer, there will be no money for drones in it,” City Commissioner Mike Amyx.
Lawrence resident Ben Jones spoke on behalf of a group of about 12 residents who said they are concerned about the possible civil liberty violations that could occur if police departments start using the drones for surveillance. The group also is concerned that police drones in the future may start carrying weapons that could be used to control crowds and respond to other threats.
Several states and at least one other city — Charlottesville, Va. — have created policies limiting how municipalities can use drones.
Mayor Mike Dever said he wanted to learn more about the issue before deciding on whether such a policy should be proposed for Lawrence.