New York State Police to begin using drones for traffic safety, other missions

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) -

New York State Police will soon begin using unmanned drones to help support law enforcement missions like public safety, disaster response and traffic safety.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday.

The program is launching sometime this month with four drones,. The other four drones will go to State Police in Western New York, Central New York, the Hudson River area, and the Capital region.

By April 2018, an additional 14 aerial 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," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers across this great state."

Cuomo says the drones will be more cost-effective than manned aircrafts like helicopters and can be used in dangerous situations and environments without putting State Troopers in harm's way.

Police will be able to use the drones to document and reconstruct motor vehicle crashes and photograph crime scenes.

Any Trooper who operates the drones will have to be FAA certified and undergo 32 hours of hands-on training with the systems.

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