The New York Police Department (NYPD) on Tuesday announced its Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, which will be comprised of newly acquired Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, and the licensed NYPD officers of the Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) who will operate them.

According to the NYPD, which is the largest police department in the United States, the devices will be deployed solely by licensed members of TARU who have gone through vigorous training, and will prove useful for search and rescue missions, inaccessible crime scenes, hostage situations, or hazardous material incidents.

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“As the largest municipal police department in the United States, the NYPD must always be willing to leverage the benefits of new and always-improving technology,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “Our new UAS program is part of this evolution – it enables our highly-trained cops to be even more responsive to the people we serve, and to carry out the NYPD’s critical work in ways that are more effective, efficient, and safe for everyone.”