NY Launches State Police Drone Program

State officials believe with drones, it will be easier and faster to reconstruct serious motor vehicle crashes, resulting in shorter road closures and reducing the impact on motorists. Investigators also will use the drones to document and photograph crime scenes.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Jan. 10 announced the launch of a new State Police Unmanned Aerial System program, saying it will be used to support law enforcement missions that include disaster response and traffic safety. The first four State Police drones will be put into service this month in Troop A, which serves eight counties in western New York; Troop D, which serves seven counties in the central New York region; Troop F, which serves five southern counties west of the Hudson River; and Troop G, which serves ten counties in the Capital Region.

By April 2018, there will be 14 more drones deployed throughout the state.

"This state-of-the-art technology will improve emergency response, improve operational and cost efficiencies, and increase trooper safety," Cuomo said. "We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers across this great state."

State officials believe with drones, it will be easier and faster to reconstruct serious motor vehicle crashes, resulting in shorter road closures and reducing the impact on motorists. Investigators also will use the drones to document and photograph crime scenes.

State Police members who will operate them will be FAA certified and will undergo 32 hours of hands-on training with the systems. "The aerial drone systems we are deploying bring substantial benefits to our troopers in the field and are representative of our ongoing efforts to provide the tools they need to deliver outstanding service to the public. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and the Trooper Foundation for their continued support of the State Police," State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said.

The New York State Trooper Foundation is donating 16 of the drone systems to the State Police.

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