SPRINGFIELD – State Senators Linda Holmes and Julie Morrison worked together to pass a measure to enhance public safety through the use of drones following two separate mass shooting tragedies that tore apart communities they represent.

“Drones provide an invaluable resource that can be used to monitor large crowds for suspicious activity,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “This technology exists – there’s no reason we shouldn’t put it in the hands of law enforcement.”

House Bill 3902 allows law enforcement to use drones to monitor special events, like parades and festivals, to detect breaches and identify public safety issues. Addressing concerns about drone surveillance and privacy, the measure sets specific limits on where and how drones can be used, restricts photography, prohibits facial recognition or onboard weapons, and adds reporting and retention constraints.

The measure comes after Holmes’ and Morrison’s communities faced tragic events that left a total of a dozen innocent people dead.

On Feb. 15, 2019, a mass shooting took place at Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, represented by Holmes. Within 90 minutes of the shooter’s arrival, five people had been killed by the gunman. Five police officers were injured along with another civilian.

Then, last July Fourth, Morrison and her family ran for their lives as a man opened fire from a rooftop in Highland Park. Seven people were killed and dozens more were wounded.

“This measure gives police and other first responders critical information in a chaotic situation where lives are at stake,” said Holmes (D-Aurora). “This capability could spare another community the suffering and trauma we experienced here.”

House Bill 3902 awaits final approval from the governor.