New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo has launched the New York State Police Unmanned Aerial System program, which will be used to support law enforcement missions, including disaster and emergency response and traffic safety.
The NY State Police will use Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technologies for law enforcement and public safety missions, taking advantage of the flexibility and efficiencies that aerial drones provide.
Acquiring and operating the systems provides a significant cost saving over manned aircraft, and will be deployed in multiple locations across the state, reducing response times and making operations more efficient and cost-effective. The aerial drones can also be used in dangerous situations and environments, including natural disasters, keeping State Troopers out of harm’s way.
The first four state police aerial 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 10 counties in the Capital Region. By April this year, an additional 14 aerial drones will be deployed throughout the state.
The Unmanned Aerial System can document and help reconstruct serious motor vehicle crashes in less time than with current methods, resulting in shorter road closures, lessening the impact on motorists. Investigators will also use the aerial drones to document and photograph crime scenes. State Police members who will operate the Unmanned Aerial System will be FAA certified and undergo 32 hours of hands-on training with the systems. The New York State Trooper Foundation is donating 16 of the 18 aerial drone systems to the State Police.
“This state-of-the-art technology will improve emergency response, improve operational and cost efficiencies, and increase trooper safety,” said Cuomo at the program’s launch. “We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers across this great state.”
NY State Police Superintendent George P Beach II commented, “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.”