Prince George's County Police Department Major Pete Eliadis, Commander of the Special Operations Division, and Lieutenant Anthony Cline, Commander of the Aviation Section, witnessed Governor Martin O’Malley sign Senate Bill 19 - Aiming Laser Pointer at Aircraft - into law on May 2, 2013.
This law now makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully shine, point, or focus the beam of a laser pointer on a pilot operating an aircraft. “This is a significant victory for the area’s aviation units, and puts those who knowingly put flight crews in harm’s way, on notice,” said Major Eliadis.
Earlier this spring, testimony provided by Prince George’s County Police flight crew, Corporals Todd Dolihite and Christopher Elrod, provided the last push to get Senate Bill 19 passed. On January 8, 2013, while flying a PGPD helicopter, they suffered serious injuries to their eyes when they were temporarily blinded by a commercial grade laser. The suspect in that incident was charged and convicted of assault and served 20 days in the Upper Marlboro Detention Center.
For more information, please contact the Prince George's County Police Department's Media Relations Division at 301-772-4710.