City seeks drone regulations

Should the city regulate drone use?

It’s a question that City Manager Nancy Freenock brought to Warren City Council during Monday’s special meeting.

She said that the city received a complaint through the police department of someone flying a drone that wound up in the caller’s back yard.

Federal regulation offers some guidelines here.

“(There) should be no permitted operation of drones within the city,” she explained, because it violates federal regulations to fly a drone within five miles of a helipad or airport.

However, Freenock told city council that enforcements rests with individual municipalities and said that city police “does not have the authority to enforce federal regulations.”

She asked if council would like to entertain “an ordinance our police department could enforce” and added that there are no state laws in this area either.

“It’s going to be a growing problem,” Councilman Gregory Fraser said. “Not everyone follows the law.”

Freenock concurred with Councilman Paul Giannini’s statement that all drones need to be registered and added that there are rules about how they can be operated.

She said she would take a look into the issue and suggest that there might be something in the parks ordinance to address it and questioned whether drones may fit into model airplane regulations.

“We’ll look into it and come back with something,” she said.