La Vergne City Leaders Discuss Recent Drone Sighting
by Emily Luxen
LA VERGNE, Tenn. - La Vergne leaders are trying to determine how to deal with a mysterious "remote controlled aerial device" or "drone" spotted in the city last week.
A resident spotted the device in her Woodland Hills subdivision and reported the incident to police. Now she is hoping a discussion with city officials results in new policies.
Carolyn Hickerson addressed city leaders at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Tuesday evening.
"This thing is circling my neighborhood and moving from house to house," said Hickerson. "It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up."
La Vergne police have determined the man operating the drone via remote control was surveying roofs in the area, and was not violating any laws.
However, La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker said the situation left many feeling uneasy.
"There was a tremendous amount of fear once it hit Facebook," said Chief Walker. "There were a lot of citizens upset."
Currently, Tennessee state law restricts law enforcement use of drones, but does not address recreational use. Chief Walker said now the city is consulting with its attorney to determine what can be done.
"The problem lies in the fact that nothing controls the use of drones looking at homes or watching homes, or surveillance to commit crimes of any sort."
"I would like to see some kind of permit issued for these things," said Hickerson. "If they want to fly a drone and take pictures of family members or children, they have a permit."
Hickerson said she has also reached out to state legislators to see if they will help address this issue.
La Vergne city leaders said after consulting with the city attorney, they will discuss the issue again next month.
Police continue to ask people to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, and to call them at 615-793-7744.