GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) — A sheriff's office in a smaller South Carolina county says it is buying two drones to help them keep an eye on situations from the sky.

Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller says the drones can help hunt down suspects on the run, monitor crowds and large events and even get information about shooters or other dangerous criminals in public places without risking officers' lives.

Muller says most of the money for the drones came from an annual $15,000 grant from Duke Energy.

The sheriff says his county of 56,000 people doesn't have enough money for a helicopter, so the drones are game changers for his deputies.

Muller told media outlets money seized from drug suspects will pay to train deputies to use the drones.