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Governor LePage Signs Executive Order to Create Drone Policy
Fort Fairfield Journal, August 21, 2013
AUGUSTA, Maine– Governor Paul R. LePage signed Wednesday an Executive Order to create a policy to govern all State law enforcement use and operation of “Unmanned Aircraft Systems.” In his veto message in July regarding LD 236, “An Act to Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use,” Governor LePage wrote he would establish guidelines surrounding use of drones.
The Executive Order directs the Commissioner of Public Safety, on or before February 1, 2014, to issue an “Unmanned Aircraft System” (UAS) policy to govern all State law enforcement use and operation of UASs.
“It is reasonable to ensure we have proper safeguards around the use of aircraft, whether manned or unmanned,” Governor LePage said. “That is why I have signed this Executive Order directing the State to create policy on the use of drones.”
The Executive Order is as follows:
AN ORDER REGARDING LAW
ENFORCEMENT USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
WHEREAS, the Federal Government has made extensive use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs);
WHEREAS, UASs have the potential to be used by law enforcement for public safety and emergency response;
WHEREAS, ensuring consistency of practice among Maine law enforcement agencies is important to protect privacy rights;
WHEREAS, private and non-governmental use of UASs does not present these same concerns; and
WHEREAS, overbroad statutes could have a negative impact on Maine’s ability to create good-paying aerospace jobs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, hereby order as follows:
1. The Commissioner of Public Safety, on or before February 1, 2014, shall issue an “Unmanned Aircraft System” policy (“Policy”) to govern all State law enforcement use and operation of UASs. The Policy shall be posted in a conspicuous location on the Department of Public Safety website, provided that portions of the Policy subject to confidentiality under Maine law may be redacted or withheld.
2. The Commissioner is authorized to enlist the assistance of any organization in drafting the Policy, including, but not limited to, the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, the Office of the Attorney General, and county and local law enforcement agencies.
3. This Order does not create any enforceable legal or equitable rights or private rights of action.
The effective date of the Executive Order is August 10, 2013.