New York state troopers are getting more eyes in the sky.
Officials announced Wednesday that 18 new unmanned aircraft soon will be deployed throughout the state to assist New York State Police with disaster response, traffic safety, crime scene photography and other tasks.
The first four drones begin service this month, including one in Troop D, which covers Jefferson, Lewis, and five other counties.
Fourteen more will join the fleet by April.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the drones state-of-the-art technology and said they will improve the state police's ability to respond to situations quickly and effectively.
Officials say the equipment will also protect troopers by doing jobs too hazardous for humans.
The drones will be donated by the New York State Trooper Foundation, a charity that raises private funds for state police training and equipment.