New York State Police just announced that it is launching a new Unmanned Aerial System program, aka drones, to aid in law enforcement. Over the course of the next four months, state police will introduce 18 drones in different regions of New York. Some of the first drones issued will be given to the counties in our area. The primary goal of the drone program implementation is to improve officer safety as well as make the emergency response and spending more efficient. Some of the other ways law enforcement hopes to use the drones include:
- reconstructing serious motor vehicle crashes more efficiently, which should result in shorter road closures and reduce traffic
- reduce the police response times of emergency calls
- photographing and documenting crime scenes
- assisting in natural disasters and other dangerous environmental situations
However, not just any members of the New York State police will be able to operate these drones. Members of the State Police who want to participate in the drone-use program must become certified under the Federal Aviation Administration and complete at least 32 hours of hands-on training with the aerial drones. It will be interesting to see how the use of these drones impacts law enforcement as well as whether it will truly decrease road closures and response time, as they are predicted to do so.
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