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Red Deer RCMP conduct drone pilot project

Drone trial underway from May 15 to 26
Red Deer is one of three communities in Alberta where drone trials will be conducted in May and June. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)

Red Deer RCMP are participating in a pilot program to test how drones can be used to respond to crime and other calls for service.

From May 15 to 26, drones will provide air support to assist police responding to calls like crimes in progress, flight from police, suspicious persons, missing persons, assisting EMS/Fire, or even provide support during a natural disaster. Drones will be deployed from the Downtown RCMP Detachment, at 4602 51 Ave., and the North side RCMP Detachment, at 6592 58 Ave.

Red Deer is one of three communities selected for the drone trials scheduled for May to June. Other areas included a large municipality, and an Indigenous community.

Police said drone technology is already used by the Alberta RCMP for a variety reasons including traffic accident reconstruction, search and rescue, major crimes investigation, and emergency response team calls. The trial is another step in exploring potential new ways to use the technology for the safety of Albertans.

The decision to further explore and expand drone usage was made following thorough research into the use of the technology by law enforcement in other jurisdictions. The decision is also based on recommendations to increase air support made by the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia.

“These trials give us the chance to build on the successes we’ve already seen using RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems also known as drones). We’re very excited to learn how we can use evolving technology and new methods to better serve our community," said Supt. Holly Glassford, Officer in Charge of the Red Deer RCMP, in a statement.

Mayor Ken Johnston said the program is a proactive step towards enhancing policing services and leveraging innovation to better serve and protect residents.

"By exploring the potential of RPAS technology, we aim to bolster public safety, streamline emergency responses, and foster greater trust within our community," Johnston said.

Expanding the RPAS program is being done in consultation with the RCMP National RPAS Program, law enforcement partners, municipal and provincial governments, and industry experts.

Following the trial, the RCMP will evaluate the program to determine if drones can be used to enhance public safety and will update the public on the results.

For more information visit  Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Pilot Program on the City of Red Deer website. 



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