North Van RCMP utilizes innovation & technology to enhance public safety

North Vancouver

2024-06-06 11:39 PDT

File # 2024

North Vancouver RCMP are utilizing innovation and technology to enhance public safety by launching the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), commonly known as drones.

The RCMP has been using RPAS technology for over 10 years, historically with our specialized support sections, such as our Emergency Response Team and our Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service (CARS). In BC, air support for public safety endeavours in the form of rotary or fixed wing aircraft comes from RCMP Air Services, however would be cost prohibitive even for larger cities to operate their own program. Use of RPAS is a fraction of the cost and provides the opportunity for officers to quickly enhance police and public safety by launching this unique tool directly from the scene of an incident.

North Vancouver RCMP is dedicated to leveraging the latest technological advancements to bolster community safety and provide efficient policing services to our community, said Constable Mansoor Sahak, Media Relations Officer for the North Vancouver RCMP. The use of remotely-piloted aircraft is just one of many ways the RCMP is adapting to increased public safety demands while also expanding our investigative resource toolkit.

North Vancouver residents will soon see officers utilizing RPAS in investigations like missing persons, lost hikers, active public safety threats, and natural disasters.

Picture of a drone flying in a sunset.

Why utilize air support for police operations?

The use of RPAS can allow RCMP officers to approach investigations, unfolding critical incidents, and public safety concerns in a more modern, innovative, and efficient way. Calls for service can be responded to quicker, crime scenes can be seen from a bird's eye view, and suspects can be located with lower risk to them, the public, and our officers.

Effective and efficient – RPAS can cover a large area in a short amount of time when conducting a search and rescue mission for a missing person. Time is of the essence when dealing with harsh weather conditions and/or vulnerable missing people. Lower risk of danger for both officers responding to a call and nearby community members - RPAS can increase accuracy when locating and monitoring a suspect's location and determining if they are armed. This allows for the officers to respond to unfolding incidents with an appropriate number of officers and specialized tools if necessary. By gathering timely and accurate information, officers can also clear areas of a community if there is a safety risk.

How are the North Vancouver RCMP ensuring public privacy?

North Vancouver RCMP is committed to safeguarding the privacy of individuals. The RCMP's use of RPAS includes training, policies, and procedures to ensure appropriate use. For example, RPAS may be used to help locate a missing child or a fleeing armed robbery suspect, but it would not be used for police physical evidence searches on private property without a search warrant or some other lawful authority.

What safety precautions are being taken?

The RCMP's use of RPAS will be carried out in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, such as the Aeronautics Act and Canadian Aviation Regulations and all RCMP policy. Only trained and certified pilots will employ RPAS to assist officers during calls for service.

The RCMP only utilizes RPAS technology that has been approved by Transport Canada and meets their Safety Assurance.

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