Drones appear on Jackson City Council’s radar

Drones flying around Jackson – or at least the idea of them – have caught the attention of the City Council who is now pondering how to get ahead of the supposed inevitable occurrence.

A proposed ordinance, brought up by Ward 3 Councilwoman Larita Cooper-Stokes, would require the unmanned flying machines be registered with the city and possibly regulated.

Drones are an issue in cities across the United States, and I felt that it was important that the city of Jackson gets on the front end of this issue,” said Cooper-Stokes.

Fellow councilmembers echoed those concerns. “It’s a deep privacy issue,” said Ward 4 Councilman De’Keither Stamps. “Someone could fly over my house and look in.”

Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell agreed, saying the idea of drones have been gaining national attention, especially with privacy rights.

While Jackson leaders have expressed interest in crafting a drone law, they aren’t the first city to have taken their distrust of the robotic fliers to that level.

Last year, Iowa City, Iowa officials banned the use of any surveillance drones in city limits. A few months before that, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota city leaders also banned the machines, citing privacy concerns.

Cooper-Stokes said her proposed ordinance was drafted with the intentions of other council members offering input to strengthen the potential legislation.On Monday, the public can meet with the council at 6 p.m. at City Hall to voice any concerns they may have about drones flying around the town.

Contact Dustin Barnes at dbarnes2@gannett.com or (601) 360-4644. Follow @DustinCL on Twitter.

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