The RCMP D Division will be able to have a bird’s eye view of some of the areas it needs to cover with the help of a new unmanned aerial system it has acquired.
Sgt. Line Karpish said the system will also be helpful for police in the Portage la Prairie area.
“For us at the moment it is used for crime scenes and serious collisions — most often fatal collisions,” said Karpish. “Portage has seen its share on Highway 1. So, basically what this will give a traffic constructionist is a different bird’s eye view of the collision scene.”
“Certainly, for us it will make our investigations, our packages to the courts, to the Crowns, more detailed – to better relay what we see, or what it is that we have come across in some of these serious fatal collisions,” she added.
As well, Karpish said at times semi tractor-trailers that are hauling hazardous materials may be involved in collisions. As a result, there could be spillages of these materials.
“Just think of the opportunity this aerial vehicle basically can do for us,” she said. “Rather than risking sending someone in a hazardous situation, to be able to fly this remote-controlled helicopter from a safe distance gives us, in actual time, a view of what is going on there — which way the spill is going and where are the danger zones, so that no one is put in harm’s way.”
The unmanned aerial system is used for taking high-quality pictures the RCMP need for their work.
The aerial-device can also be used by police and forensic investigators to get a good overview of a crime scene.
There are two unmanned aerial systems being stored in Manitoba — one in Dauphin and one in Brandon.
The cost of the two devices is roughly about $20,000 each. If more features are added to any of the units, the cost would increase appropriately.
The RCMP has also obtained a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transport Canada, under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, that it needs to operate the units, under strict regulations.
“That is very important,” said Karpish. “In the past, what we had to do was get our own plane, which is very difficult, or charter a helicopter or another type of aircraft to get that view. Those are very costly endeavors. This will help us make more effective use of our resources.”