New York State Police (NYSP) are showing off their new Unmanned Aerial System Program that will see 18 drones deployed to NYSP barracks across the state by April 2018. The first of four drones are being put into service this month.
The police drones will be used to help document and reconstruct serious motor vehicle accidents. They will also be used in dangerous situations to help keep troopers out of harm's way.
Already, the drones have been used to keep an eye on ice-jam flooding and helped with a search operation.
During a morning demonstration at the NYSP Troop A Barracks in Batavia, members of the media learned more about the drones and saw a sample flight.
Capt. Scott Reichel said NYSP drone pilots are licensed by the FAA and will follow the same regulations that all drone operators must follow when it comes to altitude and restricted flight areas. The plan is to expand training to other troopers over the next months.
The New York State Trooper Foundation, a non-profit group, helped supply the drones which cost about $7,000 each.
Troopers have implemented a strict policy that prohibits the use of the drones to violate privacy rules. The policy was reviewed with the New York Civil Liberties Union.
In the attached clip, hear from one of the first NYSP drone pilots and learn more about how drones will be used to help law enforcement.