Michigan lawmaker wants to ban drones over prisons - WNEM TV 5

Michigan lawmaker wants to ban drones over prisons

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A Michigan lawmaker is trying to make sure an inmate escape in Texas does not happen in his home state.

You can’t fly a drone over the State Capitol Building, but you can fly a drone over state prisons, jails and county court houses.

It seems that drones are everywhere these days, but there are also bad guys shipping tools into prison yards to help their pals get out.

“There's been an incident in Texas where a drone was flown over a prison and dropped some tools in so it helped a prisoner escaped and he went right out the fence,” State Rep. John Chirkun said.

In Michigan, drone abuse has been prevalent in the state correctional system.

Officials report about a half dozen incidents of drones flying over prisons and there have been several attempts at the jail in Oakland County.

“I knew somebody was going to use one to try to get out of jail. Oakland County has had a couple of incidents where they have seen drones flying over their jail system and they chased them out but didn't catch the people doing it,” Chirkun said.

It’s why Chirkun wants to ban drones over prisons and jails using the FAA guidelines. For example, the FAA bans planes from coming within 1,000 feet of Spartan Stadium or other outdoor venues.

“They automatically get a thing from the FAA that diverts them from flying during a game and you can't be X amount of thousand yards away from that facility.  I don't know why we can't do that for prisons and jails and municipal buildings also,” Chirkun said.

The former deputy sheriff tried last year to pass a similar bill but it failed.

“This seems like a no brainer on the surface. How can somebody vote no on that? I have no idea,” Chirkun said. 

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WLNS. All rights reserved. 

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