(TMU) – Police in a suburb near Minneapolis, Minnesota are using drones to spy on beachgoers to see if any of them are naked. The Golden Valley Police Department is reportedly using aerial surveillance to catch people going nude or topless at the Twin Lake beach, which is a place that is known for its relaxed atmosphere.
Sgt. Randy Mahlen with the Golden Valley Police Department says that his office has received more than a dozen complaints this spring and summer about people being nude, drinking, doing drugs, or generally having a good time at the beach.
“It had reached the point where it was time for people to be held accountable for their actions,” Mahlen told CBS News.
Police officers identified offenders from the sky and then later tracked them down before they left the beach to give them citations for whatever laws they had broken. Police were confronting people when they were not even in the act. When the beachgoers asked how the police knew what they were doing, they were told about the drones. Many of them were very creeped out by the fact that police drones were hovering in the sky checking them out.
“What it did was validate all of these complaints we’ve been getting from residents. It would be no different than a surveillance camera in a public place for a high-crime area,” Mahlen said.
However, Mahlen said that as the officers began trying to write citations the crowd became hostile, forcing them to cancel the operation and leave without citing anyone for any violations.
“We made the choice that things were only escalating and we chose to leave,” he said.
As the police are attempting to crack down on people showing skin at the beach, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is considering whether or not to repeal an ordinance that bans women from being topless at city parks and beaches.
The current ordinance PB2-21: Proper Attire Required, states that:
No person ten  years of age or older shall intentionally expose his or her own genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breast below the top of the areola, with less than a fully opaque covering in or upon any park or parkway, as defined in PB1-1. This provision does not apply to theatrical, musical, or other artistic performances upon any park or parkway where no alcoholic beverages are sold.
Repealing the ordinance is supported by Chris Meyer, District 1 Commissioner for the MPRB, who shared his thoughts on the issue in a Facebook post.
“I firmly believe the law should treat people equally regardless of gender. In spaces where men are allowed to go shirtless, women and transgender people should be able to as well. Inversely, in spaces where it would be inappropriate for women to expose their chests, it should be inappropriate for men as well. People should not be discriminated against just because heterosexual men have oversexualized them. Any argument that can be made against the exposure of a woman’s chest should apply just as strongly against the exposure of a man’s chest,” Meyer’s post read, according to CBS.
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