HD12 - Protocols for the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by Law-Enforcement Agencies

Executive Summary:
In the 2013 session of the General Assembly, House Bill 2012 placed a moratorium on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by state and local law enforcement and regulatory entities until July 1, 2015, except in defined emergency situations or in training exercises related to such situations.

The moratorium does not apply to certain Virginia National Guard functions or to research and development conducted by institutions of higher education or other research organizations.

The bill requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and other agencies, to develop protocols for the use of drones by law enforcement agencies and report its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly by November 1, 2013.

In April 2013, a workgroup of public safety and legal professionals was assembled to accomplish the Department of Criminal Justice Services requirement of this bill.

The Department of Criminal Justice Services would like to thank the following individuals for their professional contributions to this policy:

Colonel Steven Sellers, Albemarle County Police Department
Sheriff Brian Roberts, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office
Chief Doug Middleton, Henrico County Department of Police
Ms. Shannon Dion, Office of the Attorney General
Sheriff Steve Dye, Russell County Sheriff’s Office
SSA Marc Haalman, Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Officer Greg Hall, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Mr. David Summers, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Lt. Colonel James Caruso, Virginia Department of Military Affairs
Capt. Kirk Marlowe, Virginia Department of State Police
1st Sgt. Angelo Woodhouse, Virginia State Police

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services staff:
Teresa Gooch, Director, Division of Law Enforcement
Sam Hoffman, Standards, Policy and Homeland Security Manager
Gary M. Dillon, Manager, Virginia Accreditation Center