There are drones, and then there are drones. The military use of drones for both surveillance and as weapons has been around for some time now. According to the Council on Foreign Relations blog post by Micah Zenko on January 20, 2017, entitled Obama’s Final Drone Strike Data, it is estimated that President Obama during his presidency as part of his counterterrorism efforts abroad, authorized 542 drone strikes that killed an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians.

However, drones are now being used domestically and their use is expanding. One can find drones being sold online and at the mall. Farmers use them to survey their land. Various industries use them to inspect their facilities and equipment that is hard to reach. Amazon is considering using them to deliver packages. Hobbyists fly them for recreational purposes.

The FAA has rules and regulations in place for the operation of recreational, commercial drones, and government drones. See: https://www.faa.gov/uas

The law in NYS regarding the regulation of drones is mixed. There are both local and state regulations regarding drones. NYC, Syracuse, and Orchard Park all have restrictions on the flying of drones within their municipality limits. See: https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-new-york/

In January 2018, the NYS Troopers deployed their first four unmanned drones in various locations throughout the state. The drones are used for emergency response, traffic safety, and other law enforcement missions. State Police members who operate the Unmanned Aerial System are FAA certified and undergo 32 hours of hands-on training with the systems. See:   https://troopers.ny.gov/specialty-units