The RCMP in Nova Scotia have new crime–fighting weapons – unmanned aerial vehicles commonly known as drones.
Five drones will be deployed to RCMP detachments across the province.
Each machine costs around $30,000.
The light–weight machines can deploy in under five minutes, a “game changer” said Const. Mark Skinner.
The drones will help police with collision reconstruction, search and rescue, major crimes and officer safety.
“If we have a scenario where there’s an active shooter or we have an urgent life–threatening situation we can deploy it. we can be able to know where the suspect is to tell our officers on the ground what’s going on,” he said.
Skinner has already put a drone to work getting aerial photos of car accidents. He says the shots will help investigators reconstruct accidents.
“When you have a major collision happen on the highway often there’s multiple cars involved, multiple ways the cars are going in forces. So it’s really great where we can deploy it up in the air, we can get a good aerial shot. Very easy for the collision analyst then to articulate in court or in his report exactly what he believes happened,” said Skinner.
RCMP in Saskatchewan credit their drone with saving a man’s life last year after he walked away from car crash and could not be found. Officers were able to track the disoriented man down using the drone’s infrared camera.
In Canada, drones are under tight restrictions from Transport Canada.
“It’s not used for surveillance in any way shape or form,” Skinner stressed.
The drones work best in light winds and can stay in the air for 20 minutes.