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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources just launched its new drone law enforcement team, meant to help officers and Utahns alike.
The drones were designed to get a better look at wildlife crimes like poaching and trespassing. They can also be helpful in finding lost hunters and hikers.
The drones are already in use and have been placed around the state with specially trained law enforcement officers.
Faith Jolley, public information officer with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said the division expects to use them a lot this hunting season. Jolley said that the agency saw an increase in poaching this year and will be using the drones especially to watch for that.
According to a press release, there are currently five investigators assigned to the drone team, and they are located throughout the state. In order to operate the drones, investigators went through "various licensing and training requirements" with the Federal Aviation Administration.
As mentioned, the drones will not only serve to find illegally taken wildlife but will also help the well-being of others. Search and rescue efforts will be spearheaded, biologists will be assisted with wildlife surveys, assistance in boating accidents and help in hunting-related shooting incidents.
To learn more about Utah's conservation officers or to assist them by reporting any wildlife-related crime, visit the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website.