Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has announced the launch of the new State Police Unmanned Aerial System program, which will be used to support law enforcement missions, including disaster response, traffic safety and crime scene investigation.
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 central New York; 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 2018, an additional 14 drones will be deployed throughout the state.
“This state-of-the-art technology will improve emergency response, improve operational and cost efficiencies, and increase trooper safety,” Cuomo says. “We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers across this great state.”
According to the governor’s office, compared with manned aircraft, the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will provide significant cost-savings and reduce response times. Importantly, in dangerous situations, including natural disasters, state troopers will be kept out of harm’s way.
State police members who will operate the UAS will be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and will undergo 32 hours of hands-on training.
The New York State Trooper Foundation is donating 16 drones. The foundation was established to assist the police in its public service mission by forging partnerships between the state police and the private sector to advance training, safety education, and special services and programs.
State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II says, “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.”