New York Governor Announces Drone Fleet for its State Police

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Last week, Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced the launch of a new State Police Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program, which will be used for law enforcement missions, including, but not limited to, disaster response, traffic safety and crime scene investigation. To start, the program will launch four state police drones—Troop A, which will serve eight counties in western New York; Troop D, which will serve seven counties in central New York; and Troop F, which will serve 10 counties in the Capital Region. An additional 14 drones will be launched by April 2018. Governor Cuomo said, “This state-of-the-art technology will improve emergency response, improve operational and cost efficiency, and increase troop safety.” All state police members who will operate the UAS will be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), per FAA regulations, and undergo 32 hours of hands-on training. Other police departments across the country have implemented similar ‘drone forces’ and many others are sure to follow suit.

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