RCMP drone pilot project starts today in Red Deer

RCMP drone pilot project starts today in Red Deer

The Alberta RCMP is testing the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) technology in Red Deer today (May 17) until May 26.  

The testing is being conducted to determine if drones can be used to support public safety in response to active calls for service and to provide situational awareness for on-the-ground officers.  

Drones will be launched from the rooftops of the Downtown RCMP Detachment and the Northside RCMP Detachment but flown remotely by a certified RCMP pilot inside the detachments.   

Through the testing, the RCMP is seeking to learn more about drones, and test different technologies and service delivery models, to determine if they can be used to better serve the community.  

Following public reviews, it was recommended the RCMP ensure better air support is available for front-line operations, the City of Red Deer website said.   

The use of drones will allow officers to approach investigations, critical incidents, and public safety concerns in a modern, innovative, and efficient way.  

Drones will be used to respond to active calls for service, including crimes in progress, flight from police, suspicious persons, and missing persons, assist EMS and fire, and support natural disaster response.  

By using drones, service calls can be responded to quicker, crime scenes can be seen from a bird’s eye view, and suspects can be found with lower risk to them, the public, and officers, the website said.   

Drones are expected to lower the risk of danger for both officers when responding to an active call, and community members, by giving officers information to appropriately respond.   

Further testing will take place in June.   

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