The New York City Police Department expanded its aerial protection over the nation’s largest city this week; unveiling a new police officer-controlled drone program called the Unmanned Aircraft System.
Police Department officials say the UAS will allow law enforcement to operate in hard-to-reach crime scenes; including hostage situations, hazardous material incidents, and search and rescue operations.
“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 P. 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.”
The department plans to deploy at least 11 “small quadcopter drones” in the coming weeks.
It remains unclear if the unmanned aircraft will be used to patrol the Big Apple’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration in the heart of Times Square.
Read the full report at Fox New York.
BUSTED: NYC Mayor Reportedly Used $3M NYPD 'Counter-Terror' Jet to Fly Home from Vacation
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio found himself in hot water this week after he reportedly used a $3 million “counter-terrorism” government plane to fly home from a personal vacation in Canada.
According to the NY Post, de Blasio used the jet to fly from Quebec back to the Big Apple where he was set to deliver in address in the Bronx; returning to the Canadian province later that day.
“NYPD is transporting him in their plane,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips told the Post.
“It is very unusual to go on an international flight to go pick up the mayor,” said an inside source close to the police department. “I think it’s excessive, because that wasn’t what that plane was designed to do. It’s designed for counterterrorism measures. To go to Canada to get the mayor? It’s excessive.”
“Neither the NYPD nor the Mayor’s Office would say who decided to use the plane, how much the trip cost taxpayers or why the mayor didn’t take a commercial flight — which is about $300 round-trip,” writes the Post.
Read the full story at the New York Post.
NEW NORMAL: NYPD to Train Hotel Staffers to Spot Guns, Explosives
The New York City Police Department will begin training hotel workers and hospitality staffers to spot guns, explosives, and other weapons in the aftermath of the deadly Las Vegas attack that took the lives of 59 innocent Americans, reports CBS News.
The NYPD will instruct thousands of workers throughout the city how to spot rifle bags, concealed bombs, large amounts of ammunition, as well as how to identity guests behaving in a strange or suspicious manner.
The law enforcement agency will train bellhops, housekeepers, and receptionists to be the “front line” of defense from guests seeking to harm tourists and workers both inside the hotel and on city streets.
“That’s what we have to do, I hate to say it,” said a guest outside the New York Hilton. “I can’t believe we live in a society where you have to start to worry about weapons being everywhere.”
The NYPD’s decision comes days after Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old former accountant opened fire from his 32nd story hotel room into a country music festival on the world-famous Las Vegas strip; killing 59 people and injuring nearly 600.
Federal investigators say Paddock used at least ten suitcases over the course of several days to smuggle over twenty firearms, including long rifles, into his hotel suite. Housekeepers who cleaned the room claim they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.