Towns, police use drone technology as their eyes in the sky

Long Island municipalities and police departments are flying drones — once used primarily by the military and hobbyists — for public safety, firefighting and town planning. 

Officials are using drone footage to guide firefighters at perilous scenes, monitor municipal property and evaluate storm damage. Most recently, state park police flew drones to look for sharks last month after two children were reported bitten in the ocean off Fire Island.

“It’s become one of our go-to tools very quickly,” Smithtown Public Safety Chief John Valentine said.

Smithtown, one of Long Island’s earliest and most aggressive adopters of drone technology, began

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