|10-06-2014, 01:08 PM||#1|
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Mounties use their UAVs
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A GOOD use for UAVs;
EDMONTON -- Mounties now have more eyes in the sky when it comes to law enforcement -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) hover over scenes, streaming images down to computer screens.
With regulations in Canada ahead of other jurisdictions, RCMP are using the cost-effective camera platforms of UAVs to help with law enforcement. For two-and-a-half years, K-Division headquarters in Edmonton has been employing the drone technology with great success. The division has 12 of 62 UAVs across Canada. They are currently being used by traffic collision reconstructionists to investigate scenes.
Measuring that would typically have to be done on the ground can now be done by air, using high-quality digital photographs supplied by the aircraft. Operators use them on average two to three times per month.
"This significantly reduces the on-site time required to document the scene," says Mark Hovdestad, base manager of Edmonton's RCMP Air Services.
"This means emergency crews can clear the roads sooner and reopen it for public use."
And within Air Services, RCMP are developing additional training for more UAV advances, including search and rescue and disaster relief, which would take units out of sight lines.
"It will absolutely go there. When it does, the RCMP Air Division wants to be ready to make the best use of this technology for search and rescue missions," says Hovdestad.
But those worried about Big Brother improving public safety at the expense of individual privacy can breathe a sigh of relief, say authorities.
"I would like the public to be assured, RCMP has a written policy that states we won't use UAVs for surveillance," Hovdestad says, adding it's spelled out at the divisional as well as national levels.
On the other side of the law, police across the country have had to enforce the rules around the use of drones.
At the Vancouver International Airport in July, a drone came dangerously close to a jet on descent, said Vancouver lawyer Brian C. Poston.
While Mounties investigated, and a video was posted by YouTube user Quadrotor Dragonfly, no one has been charged for the dangerous situation.
Life is either a daring adventure...
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