That’s according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced on Wednesday the launch of the new State Police Unmanned Aerial System program, which will be used to support law enforcement missions, including disaster response and traffic safety.
The first four State Police aerial drones will be put into service this month in four different regions, including the eight counties of Western New York. By April, an additional 14 aerial drones will be deployed throughout the state.
The State Police will use the drones for law enforcement and public safety missions. Officials say acquiring and operating the systems provide a significant cost savings 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.
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 aerial drone systems to the State Police.