Mayor Eric Adams is considering deploying a drone army to combat the city’s rising crime rate.
Blue White Robotics, based in Tel Aviv, and Easy Aerial, based in Brooklyn, were two drone makers showcased at an event earlier this month to start a NYC-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
Sources say Adams was so impressed with the combined presentation at the Williamsburg Hotel that he urged his chief technology officer Matthew Fraser and the firms’ executives to start talking about the city potentially buying drones and extending the NYPD’s use of them.
According to a person acquainted with Mayor Eric’s views, he is a major supporter of drones and how they might be used to expedite government functions, but everything he tries to implement would be hampered by existing rules restricting drone use.
The “Soteria Project,” derived from a Greek word meaning “deliverance from a crisis,” has been coined by the drone producers, whose clientele include the US Department of Defense, Air Force, and Customs and Border Protection.
Ido Gur, the CEO of Easy Aerial, claims that by deploying just 10 of his drones, the city could respond to incidents wherever in Manhattan in under a minute.
They range in price from $70,000 to $100,000 and come with a mini-ground station for takeoff, landing, and charging time.
The aerial cops will not be armed or equipped with facial recognition technology, but they will be equipped with infrared cameras for night vision and sensors for radiation detection and other functions.
The drones’ video feed might be routed to the NYPD command center or even a cop’s phone.
Adding more drones to the NYPD’s fleet, according to State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Queens), would be irresponsible and intrusive.