SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has added drones to its list of tools for conservation officers.

Currently made up of five investigators, the newly minted Unmanned Aerial Systems team will be located throughout the state, helping DWR in a variety of things such as documenting crime scenes and boating accidents as well as assisting in investigations and wildlife surveys.

In order to be a part of the first-ever conservation officer drone team, officials needed to complete various licensing and training requirements with the Federal Aviation Adminstration to become certified to operate the drones for law enforcement work.

The team will operate similarly to the already established K-9 conservation officer team.

DWR conservation officers regularly work to enforce wildlife laws and visitors to the wildlife lands follow regulations. They also educate and protect recreating public such as campers, fishers, and boaters.

Conservation officers patrol Utah’s mountains and lakes, assist in biological surveys and studies, as well as remove wildlife from urban areas and assist in search-and-rescue missions. Increasingly, conversations officers have responded to non-wildlife-related criminal code violations and have often been requested to assist local law enforcement agencies.

Conservation officers enforce wildlife laws and ensure compliance with regulations. They also work in educating and protecting the public visiting wildlife lands. DWR conservation officers have been increasingly responding to non-wildlife-related criminal code violations and often assist local law enforcement agencies.