Agreed — we don’t want weaponized drones raining down death and destruction from the skies over Evanston. But do we really need a City Council resolution to prevent that?

The City Council controls the police department’s purse strings. So the police department won’t have drones unless the City Council approves their purchase.

The police chief says he wouldn’t want weaponized drones, so he wouldn’t even ask for any.

Given all the citizen concern about crime, police use of drones for surveillance — with proper safeguards for civil liberties — might be a good idea. Our state senator, Daniel Biss, is working to get appropriate regulations adopted.

Chief Eddington says he’s not eager to be first in the skies with surveillance drones — so there’s no need now for the City Council to address that issue in advance of action by the state.

Once we get beyond police use, the proposed drone ban goes completely off the rails — infringing on individual liberty in a misguided effort to protect against so-far-imaginary invasions of privacy.

Evanston should be a hotbed for the development of new technology. And Evanston kids — and grownups — should be free to use the fruits of that technology for sensible business and recreational purposes.

So, aldermen, drop the drone ban. Or, if you feel compelled to act — just be superfluous — and promulgate a temporary ban on use of drones by police.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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