Schenectady County buying emergency management drones

Across the country, police and other emergency response agencies are using unmanned aerial devices — drones — as an eye in the sky above crime scenes, fires and searches, offering the capabilities of a helicopter at a fraction of the cost.

The Schenectady County’s sheriff’s and emergency management offices will soon be joining the agencies flying surveillance drones to use in emergency situations.

The County Legislature on Tuesday authorized spending $31,372 on the purchase of two drones and related equipment. The funding will also cover training expenses for additional county personnel to become licensed drone operators. Currently, there are only four county employees who have licenses.

Schenectady County will be joining the state, Albany County and the city of Albany among area agencies and municipalities with drones available to their law enforcement personnel.

County Legislator Thomas Constantine, chairman of the county’s Public Safety Firefighting Committee, said the drones will be used in

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