Police surveillance ordinance

Hartford Proposed Drone Ordinance Summary

Sec. 29-18. – Use of drones by department.

Subsection (a) - Definitions

Provides definitions for the entire section. “Law enforcement officer” and “unmanned aerial vehicle” are defined. The word “contrivance,” as used in the definition of “unmanned aerial vehicle,” means device.

Subsection (b) – Individual Prohibitions, Municipal Citation for Violation

Prohibits an individual, unless otherwise provided by law, from operating or using any computer software or other technology, including a drone, to (1) release tear gas or a similar deleterious agent or (2) remotely control a deadly weapon, explosives, or an incendiary device. An exception is given for a person performing their duties as a law enforcement officer.

Allows the issuance of a municipal citation to a person who violates this subsection and requires that any person issued such a citation be subject to a fine of $1,000. Allows a person issued such a citation to appeal the citation to a hearing officer within 10 days of receipt. Requires the Hartford chief of police to enforce this subsection.

Subsection (c) – Law Enforcement Prohibitions

Prohibits a law enforcement officer from operating a drone to (1) release tear gas or a similar deleterious agent or (2) remotely control a deadly weapon, explosives, or an incendiary device.

An exception is given for a law enforcement officer who operates a drone equipped with explosive detection, detonation, or disposal equipment, if the officer is authorized by the federal or state government to detect, detonate, and dispose of explosives and the officer is engaged in that activity.

Subsection (d) – Law Enforcement Exceptions

Prohibits a law enforcement officer’s use of a drone unless:

(1) A judge of the Superior Court or judge trial referee has issued a warrant authorizing the use;

(2) The individual who will be the subject of the information collected by the operation of a drone has given advance written consent, if the person is on property that is not owned or operated by a governmental entity that is open for public use, including, but not limited to, parks, streets or sidewalks;

(3) The owner of the property that will be the subject of the information collected by the operation of the drone has given advance written consent to its use;

(4) The law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has been, is being or will be committed and exigent circumstances exist that make it unreasonable for the law enforcement officer to obtain a warrant authorizing the use of a drone;

(5) The operation is pursuant to training activities conducted by the law enforcement officer while on land owned or leased by the federal or state government and does not occur in an area that is substantially populated; or

(6) The operation is used to reconstruct or document a specific crime or accident scene.

Subsection (e) – Individual or Property as Subject of Information

Provides that an individual or privately owned property is considered to be the subject of information collected by the operation of a drone when (1) the information collected allows the identity of the person or property to be ascertained or (2) the officer operating the drone acknowledges that the person or property was the subject.

Subsection (f) – Retention of Information Collected Pursuant to Warrant

Allows information collected through drone use that concerns a person or privately owned property that was the subject of a warrant to be retained pursuant to the warrant.

Subsection (g) – Retention of Information Collected Pursuant to Written Consent

Allows information collected through drone use where the individual who is the subject or the owner of property that is the subject gave advance written consent to be retained pursuant to the advance written consent.

Subsection (h) – Review, Retention, and Modification of Information

Requires information collected through drone use where the officer had probable cause to believe that a criminal offense had been, was being or would be committed and exigent circumstances made it unreasonable to obtain a warrant; the operation was pursuant to training activities; or the operation was used to reconstruct or document a specific crime or accident scene that concerns an individual or privately owned property to be review by the Hartford Police Department within 30 days after its collection.

The information must be destroyed within 48 hours of the review or must be modified so that the identity cannot be ascertained if the identity of a person or privately owned property can be ascertained and there is no probable cause to believe an offense was committed by the person or on the property. If the information is modified, the information may be retained for no more than 5 years after collection and then must be destroyed.

The information may be retained for no more than 5 years after collection and then must be destroyed if the identity of a person or privately owned property can be ascertained and there is probable cause to believe an offense was committed by the person or on the property. If a warrant is issued based in part on such information, though, it may be retained pursuant to the warrant.

Information that is not destroyed, modified, or retained in accordance with the aforementioned requirements cannot be admitted into evidence or considered by a court or agency, body, or committee or the state or any political subdivision of the state.

Drone Use Exception

Information Collected

Review

Retention

Modification

Warrant,

Exception (d)(1)

Concerns an individual or privately owned property that is subject of warrant, Subsection (f)

Not applicable, unless specified in warrant

Pursuant to warrant,    

Subsection (f)

 

Not applicable, unless specified in warrant

Advance written consent by individual or property owner,

Exceptions (d)(2), (3)

Concerns an individual or privately owned property, Subsection (g)

Not applicable, unless specified in advance written consent

Pursuant to advance written consent, Subsection (g)

Not applicable, unless specified in advance written consent

Exigent circumstances,

Exception (d)(4)

 

Training activities,

Exception (d)(5)

 

Reconstruction of crime or accident scene,

Exception (d)(6)

Concerns an individual or privately owned property, Subsection (h)

Not later than 30 days after collection, Subsection (h)

If identify of individual or privately owned property can be ascertained AND

(1) No probable cause to believe offense was committed by individual or on property:  

       (a) Destroy within 48 hours of review

              (32 days after collection)

OR (b)  Modify permanently so identity can’t be 

             ascertained (then can retain for 5 years from

             date of collection then destroy)

(2) Probable cause to believe offense was committed by individual or on property:

       (a) Retain for 5 years from date of collection then

            destroy

Subsection (h)

 

 

Subsection (i) – Hartford Police Department Policy

Requires the Hartford Police Department to develop and maintain a written policy that meets or exceeds the ordinance’s policies on drone operation by a law enforcement officer and the destruction, modification, and retention of information collected by use of a drone by within 90 days of the ordinance passing.

Requires the Hartford Police Department to create a drone use reporting form and complete it each time a drone is used. The form must include all of the information that the department is required to report annually.

Subsection (j) – Annual Reporting

Requires, by January 31 of each year following a calendar year in which the Hartford Police Department operated a drone, the Hartford Police Department to post on its website a report that includes:

(1) The number of times the law enforcement agency operated a drone,

(2) the type of such operation as categorized in the model policy it adopted,

(3) the zip code where the operation of the unmanned aerial vehicle was initiated,

(4) whether the drone was operated pursuant to a warrant,

(5) whether a property owner gave advance written consent to such operation,

(6) the number of times the type of information collected through the operation of a drone provided reasonable and articulable suspicion that a criminal offense was being committee, and

(7) the number of times an arrest was made during or after the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle in direct response to the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle by a law enforcement officer.

Subsection (k) – Hearings and Approval of Applications

Requires Hartford Police Department to make available to city council and publish for the public any application for surveillance technology, including drones, or for funds to acquire such equipment at least 30 days before a public hearing.

Requires the Hartford City Council to hold a public hearing on the application at least 30 days before the department submits the application and provide legal notice of the hearing 2 weeks before the hearing.

Requires the Hartford City Council to approve the application before the department submits it.

 

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