Miami Beach Cops Use Tethered Blimp for Surveillance to Get Around Drone Ban

Miami Beach Police begin setting up a surveillance blimp on December 28, 2018
Photo: Major of Police Paul Acosta/Twitter

The state of Florida passed a law in 2015 banning the use of drones to monitor citizens from the air. But police in Miami Beach, Florida have come up with a clever workaround: They’re using a tethered blimp, called an aerostat, for crowd surveillance and they argue that it’s not a drone.

The Miami New Times reports that the Miami Beach PD started testing different surveillance methods to get around the ban on Memorial Day weekend in 2017, as well as Spring Break and Halloween of last year. But it was only recently that the department purchased a tethered aerostat outright and used it to monitor an Orange Bowl party on December

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