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Some central Fla. agencies have permission to use drones

Updated:

Parrot drone

CENTRAL FLORIDA - Drones have been a controversial subject for months now.

Before any agency can strap a camera onto one and send eyes into the sky, the federal government has to give the OK.

The University of Florida, the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Daytona Beach police have all applied for drone licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to information gleaned from a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville already has FAA permission to fly drones.

And the Polk County Sheriff Office wants to use a type of drone called a "parrot drone" in active shooter scenarios.

They said they're already practicing with it indoors.

The use of drones puts a lot of people on edge, such as privacy advocate Joseph Lorenzo Hall.

"You have to start to wonder, there could be something up in the sky looking at me and the sort of concerns you wouldn't be able to do things you would normally do in your back yard," Hall said.

Gov. Rick Scott agreed and has already signed a bill limiting law enforcement agencies' use of drones.

His decision has now convinced Daytona Beach police to abandon their plans to use drones in missing person's cases.

The FAA could allow drones in the commercial airspace as early as 2015.

In other states, agencies can receive special permission from the FAA for a certificate of authorization allowing them to fly the remote-controlled helicopter.