Members of RPD drone unit pass certification tests with flying colors

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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.

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