BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is trying to curb crime with a new program. The Sheriff’s Office is launching a new drone program they say will improve their ability to scope out dangerous situations. 

Right now, BCSO is training with four drones. They say the program will put more eyes in more places when they don’t have enough officers. 

“There might be a lot of tactical scenarios that we don’t want to have a lot of deputies going to right away until we can see what’s going on and then also make sure that we’re allocating the right amount of resources to a certain call,” says Bernalillo County Sheriff, John Allen. 

BCSO says the drones will be assigned to specialty units including S.W.A.T., Open Space, Traffic, and Crime Scene Investigators. The drones will have unique capabilities depending on the unit they’re assigned to.  

The open space unit assists in finding missing persons, so these drones will be able to fly at high altitudes and have night vision. The traffic unit drones will be equipped with cameras and sensors that can record data about the scene of an accident. 

Other drones will be able to identify potential arson or explosives using thermal imaging. BCSO says they will be training all of their officers to operate the drones. They hope to have at least 25-percent of them trained within the next year. 

“We want to make sure that a deputy can operate this at any time, because we never know when a moment arises when they’re going to need to use a drone in a certain situation,” says Bernalillo County Sheriff, John Allen. 

BCSO says their goal is to have 30 drones in the program. Depending on the success of the program, they may expand it. BCSO will officially launch the drone program on Monday. They plan on getting eight more drones by the end of the month.