HomeBusinessGuelph Police say a new drone will cover much more ground Achi-News

Guelph Police say a new drone will cover much more ground Achi-News

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Guelph Police say a new drone will cover much more ground

 Achi-News

Achi news desk-

The Guelph Police Service has a new remotely piloted aircraft system, also known as a drone, to assist with investigations.

The motorized aircraft will assist in searches for missing persons, collision reconstruction, intelligence gathering, tactical operations and evidence gathering.

“We see this as a way to improve our effectiveness and efficiency and support police operations in a wide variety of scenarios,” Staff Sgt. Michael Davis said.

The DJI Matrice M30T, includes high-resolution red, green, blue and thermal cameras, and a laser rangefinder system. The drone can fly for over 40 minutes in a range of 15 km.

“Reduces working hours. We can cover a lot more ground than an officer walking. The downside is the foliage – we can’t always see through it,” said Const Dave Anderson, the drone pilot.

The drone became operational in August 2023, and was deployed nine times last year. It was used three times to search for evidence in homicide investigations, to assist in break and enter investigations and to search for missing persons.

Officers used a drone to successfully locate an intoxicated male in October, who was somewhat depressed, and in an unfamiliar area.

“It was right around a forest and the drone was used in that situation, got airborne, and the male was located using the thermal camera in a very short time,” Sgt Segal Davis said.

The drone and officer training cost around $25,000. That’s about $60,000 less than the drone the Waterloo Regional Police Service purchased in 2018.

The Guelph Police Department has six officers who have completed the few hours of ground school, several tests and a flight test to become certified drone pilots.

“It was difficult. There is a lot of learning to do to reach advanced status,” said Constant Anderson.

The drone can only operate with a licensed pilot and a visual observer who watches for birds of other aircraft and animals. The service has trained 22 officers to be observers.

The force is looking to purchase another drone and train more officers this year. It hopes to expand the number of units that can use it. The drone is expected to be available to police at any time and can quickly take to the air.

“As long as we can get into Transport Canada, the NAV uploads the drone and our air data application, once everything is submitted we can take off as long as there’s nothing in the air to restrict us from flying,” Const. Anderson said.

Guelph Police said the flight operations will only take place if there is legal authority or it has judicial approval. The police stated that any collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information is in accordance with the municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Law.

Residents can request to access their personal and general information from the RPAS by contacting the Freedom of Information Office.

Guelph Police as well Created a social media account on X For the aircraft, provide status updates and flight updates to the public.

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