UNMANNED AVIATION UNIT — The Rome Police Department unveiled their newest tool on May 8 in the fight against crime: an aerial drone. The five members of the new Unmanned Aviation Unit took the drone for a test flight over Stevens Field on West Court Street. From left: Sgt. Alex Sypniewski, Officer Daniel A. Vescio, Sgt. Mark A. Glasso and Det. Jeffrey M. Lanigan. Not pictured: Officer Shane A. Riolo. (Sentinel file photo by John Clifford)

Members of RPD drone unit pass certification tests with flying colors

Published Jul 1, 2018 at 9:00am

The five members of the Rome Police Department’s new Unmanned Aviation Unit all passed their certification tests on Tuesday. The members of the department’s new drone unit had been flying through an agreement with the NUAIR Alliance, which set up a training course for the officers to prepare for the test. The certification is through the Federal Aviation Administration, and was conducted by Galaxy Aviation, of Rome.

The drone officers are Det. Jeffrey M. Lanigan, Sgt. Mark A. Glasso, Sgt. Alex Sypniewski, Patrolman Daniel A. Vescio and Patrolman Shane A. Riolo.

Passing the FAA certification tests showed that the department is committed to “taking the steps necessary” to keep their drone in the air according to all regulations, said department spokesman Lt. James P. Boyer. Boyer said the department has not yet had the need to use the drone at a crime scene, but the five officers will continue to fly in order to maintain their efficiency training. The drone will also be used for such activities as crowd control and aerial photography.