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      Fewer eyes in sky over CNY as State Police Aviation Unit moves to Rochester

      There were be fewer eyes in the sky over Central New York.

      State Police have confirmed its aviation unit will move out of Syracuse and Batavia and be centralized at the Rochester International Airport. "This consolidation will provide more resources for New Yorkers living in Central and Western New York, providing improved coverage for missions including search and rescue, surveillance and involving our specialty units," State Police said in a statement to CNYCentral. Police say no jobs will be impacted.

      Starting tomorrow, the State Police Aviation Unit based at Hancock Airport in Syracuse will move to Rochester. The state police helicopters and airplanes will be stationed at four locations including Albany, Newburgh, Rochester and Saranac Lake.

      State Police says its aviation unit is prepared to respond at any time to assist members of the state police, other law enforcement agencies and the people of New York. "The decision to consolidate was made with other aircraft resources across Central New York in mind," the statement said. "Generally, State Police Aviation does not perform medevac missions in Central New York, that service is provided by private air carriers. Our mission is law enforcement, search and rescue, environmental conservation missions and executive transport."

      State Police have 13 helicopters and 7 airplanes.

      Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh will hold a press conference tomorrow with members of the Air1 Foundation Board to discuss recent changes in aviation assistance in Onondaga County and how it will impact the community.