New Drone Law Strengthens Security at MD Correctional Facilities – Conduit Street

Maryland has passed a new law restricting the use of drones near correctional facilities starting October 1, 2024. SB 273 — State and local correctional facilities — Operation of unmanned aircraft — Imaging and delivery of contraband — addresses unauthorized drone activities that pose significant security risks to incarcerated individuals and correctional staff.

While the Federal Aviation Administration broadly governs drone operations in Maryland, the General Assembly enacted supplemental regulations specific to Maryland drone operations. As such, Maryland law prevents local governments from passing local ordinances that prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of drones.

Drones are increasingly smuggling contraband into prisons and jails, including narcotics, weapons and cell phones. Although the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) may prohibit the use of UAVs above state correctional facilities by policy, there is no law specifically prohibiting the activity and therefore no associated criminal penalty.

The new law prohibits flying drones over correctional facilities without permission, specifically targeting drones used to take unauthorized images and deliver items such as drugs, cellphones and weapons. Violators face fines of up to $1,000 and prison terms of up to three years. Facilities must post visible signs warning of these prohibitions.

While some public safety agencies use UAVs to improve emergency responseDrone delivery of contraband is an increasingly vexing problem for state and local corrections officials.

The eye in the sky: New technique Improve Public safety

Droneepp offers unprecedented aerial views and provides first responders and law enforcement agencies with real-time situational awareness during emergencies, natural disasters and large-scale events. Though, the widespread use of droneepp and other new technique raises privacy concerns and brings new ruleslatorical challenges.

At this year’s MACo Summer Conference session, “Title: Eye in the Sky: New Tech Enhancing Public Safety,” an expert panel will share best practices and implementation strategies for leveraging new technologies to enhance public safety.

MACo’s Summer Conference“Turning the Tide,” is August 14-17, 2024, at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

Learn more aboutMACo’s Summer Conference:

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