The State of Florida does not allow law enforcement agencies to monitor citizens using drones. But the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) is working around this, monitoring from above with a tethered blimp. A camera attached to a balloon was used to monitor crowds at events connected to the Orange Bowl in late December, reports the Miami New Times.

An MBPD spokesman told the New Times that the department tested alternatives to drones during busy seasons in 2017 and 2018 before deciding to purchase the tethered balloon. The balloon cannot move around, which distinguishes it from a drone, but it still offers an ideal vantage point for monitoring crowds.

Although Florida’s drone ban is still in place, this may change in the future. HB 75, a bill introduced in the Florida House of Representatives last week, would allow law enforcement agencies to use drones.

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