Correction: Due to a reporting error, the original version of this story misrepresented Chapel Hill Fire Chief Matt Sullivan's professional title. The story has been updated and The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
Thousands of people rushed Franklin Street after UNC men's basketball won the national championship.
While students were chanting Tar Heel cheers, local town officials worked to ensure the town's safety including the hazard drones posed.
Drone usage in Chapel Hill is a growing trend, but it is also causing safety concerns in the area. Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said various safety concerns, especially after the national championship, inspired regulation on drones.
The Federal Aviation Administration outlines restrictions and limitations on drones, and Chapel Hill passed an ordinance Oct. 11 implementing drone laws based on FAA regulations specifically for the town.
With these new ordinances in place, Hemminger said local police officers will answer to drone concerns rather than FAA representatives. Local police will be able to interact with residents using drones and restrict usage.
“I think we’re going to see an explosion of these types of technologies, and while we do have concerns for public privacy, right now we are just focusing on the safety aspect,” Hemminger said.
Chapel Hill Fire Chief Matt Sullivan said the fire department's main concern was large crowds and major community events where drones could potentially cause harm and panic in the crowd if not closely monitored and regulated.