Drone operators cannot fly drones over Stroger Hospital, Cook County (Illinois) Jail and other county properties under an ordinance approved by the Cook County Board amid security concerns.
The ordinance bans drones and other “unmanned aerial systems” on any land or buildings leased or owned by the county, unless authorized.
The ordinance does not apply to Daley Plaza or the forest preserves, according to a staff member for Commissioner Gregg Goslin, a co-sponsor. In the forest preserves, drones are allowed at designated areas.
The ban takes effect immediately.
“There’s also security issues posed by the new technology, what these drones can do, what they can see, what they can carry,” said Commissioner John Fritchey, one of the bill’s sponsors.
The ordinance also aims to head off privacy and security problems that could stem from drones taking clandestine video or photographs.
Those who violate the ordinance could face a $2,500 fine and confiscation of the drone.
“We hoped that this was something that would not be needed, but we wanted to be clear that we would protect the safety and privacy of any individuals interacting with county property,” Fritchey said.