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State Police Will Start Deploying Drones

State Police will have the use of an "Unmanned Aerial System" that utilizes drones.
State Police will have the use of an "Unmanned Aerial System" that utilizes drones. Photo Credit: Clarkstown Police Department

State Police in the Hudson Valley will soon have some new tools to fight crime and enforce the law in New York.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a new “State Police Unmanned Aerial System” program, which will involve the use of aerial drones that will be put into service later this month.

Cuomo said that the program will “be used to support law enforcement missions, including disaster response and traffic safety.” The first four drones are scheduled to be put into service this month, including in State Police Troop F, which serves five southern counties west of the Hudson River.

More than a dozen additional drones are expected to be put into service by April, which will be deployed throughout the state to assist state police troopers and investigators.

The Unmanned Aerial System will provide troopers the opportunity to document and reconstruct motor vehicle crashes, which in turn will result in shorter road closures. Investigators can also use the drones to document and reconstruct crime scenes efficiently.

State police troopers who operate the Unmanned Aerial System must be FAA certified and complete 32 hours of hands-on training with the system. The drones were donated to state police by the New York State Trooper Foundation.

“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,” State Police Superintendent George Becah II said in a statement.

According to Cuomo, the aerial program will take advantage of the “flexibility and efficiencies that aerial drones provide,” noting that they provide a cost savings over manned aircrafts and can be deployed in multiple locations throughout the state, reducing response time and making law enforcement efforts more efficient and cost-effective.

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

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