SPRINGFIELD – Less than a year after State Senator Julie Morrison and her family ran for their lives as a man opened fire from a rooftop in Highland Park, she passed a measure to enhance public safety through the use of drones.
“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.”
The Morrison-led measure allows law enforcement to use drones to monitor special events, like parades and festivals, to detect breaches and identify public safety issues.
It comes in response to the Fourth of July mass shooting that killed seven and wounded dozens more in Highland Park. The shooter fired a rifle on parade crowd from the rooftop of a downtown building.
“The devastating July day in Highland Park underscored the need for increased public safety initiatives for large events,” said Morrison. “I can’t help but wonder what the outcome of that July day would’ve been had this law been in place.”
“The City of Highland Park appreciates the work of Senators Morrison and Holmes leading on legislation that will broaden the use of drones by public safety in certain situations, specifically for preventative use against public safety threats towards public gatherings,” said Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering. “Allowing our public safety personnel the use of drones to monitor large scale public events will increase their ability to secure an area, and save time while improving the delivery of life-saving services.”
House Bill 3902 passed the Senate Wednesday.