Asheville, NC, police wanting to search people will face new restrictions, including in how they obtain permission from drivers or pedestrians before going through their property.

The changes mandated Tuesday night by City Council were part of a dramatic 5-2 vote that went against the wishes of Police Chief Tammy Hooper.

The biggest change is that police will have to get written permission before conducting a search unless they have reasonable grounds or "probable cause" to believe a crime has been committed, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

Activists hailed the surprise vote as a concrete move to limit what they have called over policing of minority residents as evidenced by years of traffic stop data.

Chief Hooper and law enforcement advocates, meanwhile, said the changes would make it harder for officers to protect the public and would hamper them in combating a historic drug epidemic and the crimes that come with it.

"Why would we take away any of the tools that we have when we are dealing with the highest opioid epidemic we've every seen?" said the chief.