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Report: Border Patrol to begin testing drones in Tucson for border security

(John Stillwell/PA via AP, File)

PHOENIX — The Border Patrol is expected to start testing different types of drones in the Tucson area to determine their ability to allow agents to access “high-risk” areas, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The department will test “new and smaller” types of the unmanned aircraft to help agents “better patrol difficult to access and high-risk areas,” the publication said.

Some of the drones will be small enough for agents to carry in a backpack and could be outfitted with technology like infrared cameras and facial-recognition capabilities.

The pilot phase of the testing is expected to begin later this month, with the second phase to begin in January.

Officials have raised the possibility of using drones or other types of aerial technology for border security, but some watchdog agencies have been critical of the program, according to the Daily Star, saying it “lacked a reliable method of measuring its performance.”

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