Governor Cuomo Adds Aerial Drones to State Police Force

Move over, RoboCop, there’re some new state troopers in town.

This week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo ushered in the coming robot apocalypse announced the addition of the first wave of aerial drones in a new initiative designed to reduce risk and costs associated with certain emergency response situations.

The New York State Trooper Foundation, a charity that collects private donations to better fund state police forces, is supplying a total of 16 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) units to troops throughout the course of the next year. The first four are being distributed to jurisdictions across the state, including Troop F, which serves Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Greene, and Sullivan counties just across the river. An additional fourteen units will be issued by April 2018.

Before residents begin stocking their fallout shelters and rewatching Terminator for a strategic advantage against the machines, it should be noted that these Unmanned Aerial Systems are essentially RC quad-copters, and fully under human control at all times.

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According to the governor’s office, State Police members responsible for operating UAS drones will require 32 hours of hands-on training, as well as certification by Federal Aviation Administration.

The goal is to use these drones to replace manned aircraft currently used by the State Police to deal with serious motor vehicle accidents and certain disaster response situations. Lighter, safer, and far cheaper than manned aircrafts, drones can also be deployed far more quickly, a feature which could prove crucial in emergency response operations.

“This state-of-the-art technology will improve emergency response, improve operational and cost efficiencies, and increase Trooper safety,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. “We will continue to implement innovative technologies to improve our ability to protect New Yorkers across this great state.”

By April 2018 the program will comprise eighteen UAS units scattered throughout New York State. And I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

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