New York State Police launch drone program

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

In addition, the pilotless aircraft can also be used in unsafe situations and environments, including natural disasters, keeping law enforcement personnel out of harm's way, according to the announcement.

NY state troopers are getting more eyes in the sky.

The New York State Trooper Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 1984 to support the State Police, is donating the bulk of the drone systems to the State Police. Some of the jobs performed by drones may be too risky for human police officers to conduct. As one example, a drone can help reconstruct motor vehicle crashes more quickly, lessening closure times for motorists.

State police will begin using aerial drones in the north country this month, as part of a program that will soon be expanded throughout the state. By April, an additional 14 aerial drones will be deployed throughout the state. Investigators also will use the drones to document and photograph crime scenes.

Troopers who will operate the drones will be certified by the FAA and undergo 32 hours of hands-on training.

"We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers", the governor added Wednesday.

Additionally, unmanned aerial systems will "provide a significant cost savings" over manned aircraft, according to the release, while reducing response times and making operations more efficient and cost effective.

MEANWHILE, the Olean Police Department will join 28 other agencies statewide receiving funds to either purchase recording equipment to conduct video interrogations or replace existing systems.

Additionally, all footage obtained by these drones will be deleted after 30 days as long as it doesn't serve any law enforcement purposes.