The law, introduced by Vice Chairman Jay Hood Jr., passed with bipartisan support and would take effect later this year.
Hood, who also serves as chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, introduced the law earlier this year after hearing concerns from Sheriff Lou Falco about possible illicit drone uses at the jail complex and other county property. The legislature held a hearing in April to obtain public input, which was subsequently incorporated into the law.
The measure would limit the operation of a drone to a user's own private property and to private or public property with permission of the property owner and would strictly prohibit use in the vicinity of the Rockland County Jail and Sheriff's Complex, government buildings and installations, schools, and houses of worship.
It would not prohibit the use of drones by law enforcement, fire or emergency service agencies to aid in crime, traffic and fire scene investigations in accordance with federal and state statutes that already regulate the use of drones. Use by public utility companies to survey or inspect their facilities and land would also be exempted by the law. The law may be enforced by any local law enforcement agency in the county.
A report from lohud.com says, however, that it’s possible the measure may not take effect. Ed Day, county executive, will have the next three weeks to veto or sign the law.
Day told lohud.com, “While the original intent of this local law had merit, what has evolved is a set of ambiguous regulations that can criminalize otherwise innocent behavior.”