FDL City Council Passes Drone Ordinance

The Fond du Lac City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday night regulating the use of drones in the City. City Attorney Deb Hoffmann told the City Council Wednesday night the ordinance will not affect what the police department will be doing or commercial operators, but what amateur operators do with their drones. Police Chief Bill Lamb says 13 people have received the training to use the drone the department has purchased including eight police officers, three firefighters, and one person each from the City’s IT and Engineering Departments. He ran down the cost for the drone. “All in it is going to be about $22,500. So $16,900 for the drone which includes the drone and the cameras, FLIR camera we will talk about that in a second. $1,600 for a couple of iPad pros and the training for 13 pilots is going to come to about $4,000.” Lamb told the Council the FLIR camera for the drone is equipped with thermal imaging to help with searches for missing children and adults. City Councilman Brian Kolstad asked Hoffmann and Chief Lamb whether anyone might have violated the ordinance if it had already been in place. Kolstad asked, “What kind of violations have we had so far whether they were drones or where we may have needed to enforce this or where this would actually have come into play?” Hoffman answered, “I’m not aware of any.”  Lamb then answered, “We haven’t had any of real significance.” Among other things the ordinance would not permit reckless use of a drone or for it to be used to harass or intimidate someone. (Pictured above left to right; City Councilman Brian Kolstad, Police Officer Jarid Pfalzgraf, and City Councilwomen Catherine Block and Kay Miller)