The New Jersey state Assembly has approved a bill requiring law enforcement agencies to get a warrant before using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to investigate crimes, according to a report by The Star-Ledger on nj.com.
The Star-Ledger notes that the New Jersey state Senate passed a nearly identical bill in June 2013. However, that bill did not include a provision regarding warrants.
Under the Assembly bill, The Star-Ledger says UAVs would be used in criminal investigations and events that pose serious dangers to citizens of New Jersey. According to The Star-Ledger, situations that would prompt UAV usage include ‘high-risk and missing-person searches, fires and forest fires, hurricanes, floods, droughts, explosions, acts of terrorism and civil disorder.’
The publication adds that, with the exception of emergencies and forest fires, the use of UAVs would have to be approved by a court on a case-by-case basis.
The New Jersey Assembly and Senate must reach a compromise on the warrant requirement before the bill crosses Gov. Chris Christie's desk, The Star-Ledger notes.