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State Police in WNY to get drones

State Police in WNY to get drones

The State Police Unmanned Aerial System launches this month, with a total of four drones flying in four different regions of the state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office said.

The New York State Trooper Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 1984 to support the State Police, is donating the bulk of the drone systems to the State Police. The first four unmanned aerial systems will be put into service this month, with 14 more scheduled to deploy by April.

State police in western New York will be among the first across New York State to use drone technology to assist with law enforcement efforts.

Among the benefits listed for the use of drones were reduced costs compared to manned aircraft, improved response times and increased efficiency in operations.

Investigators will also be able to use the drones to document and photograph crime scenes.

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New York State Police troopers are getting more eyes in the sky. "I want to thank Governor Cuomo and the Trooper Foundation for their continued support of the State Police", State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said.

When they're ready, they will pilot the drones on law-enforcement and public-safety missions that reduce official response times and provide a host of other advantages - more quickly recreating serious accidents to minimize road closures, for instance.

MEANWHILE, the Olean Police Department will join 28 other agencies statewide receiving funds to either purchase recording equipment to conduct video interrogations or replace existing systems.

The legislation previously passed the Republican-controlled Senate, but failed in 2015 in the Democratic-controlled Assembly.

Additionally, all footage obtained by these drones will be deleted after 30 days as long as it doesn't serve any law enforcement purposes.

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