While people often associate drones as a safety risk, they are in fact enhancing safety in a number of ways within various fields. In one example, drones are being adopted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Canada, as a way of having eyes in the sky. Four RCMP officers (otherwise known as “Mounties) in P.E.I received a week-long course on how to manage the UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, learning how drones can be used to carry out high-altitude detection, mid-air floating and communications setup.
The four drones – each valued at between $1,500 and $2,000 – are being used for missions including collision reconstruction, emergency response calls and major crime investigations. “Technology has made some great advances over the last two or three years and the cost has come down significantly,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie in CBC News. “It enhances our safety.”
One of the four Mounties who participated in the drone training said they can now “approach scenes, people, structures without physically having to send anybody in.” You now have the ability of “seeing things that you had no idea was there.” With the capacity to fly each drone from as much as a kilometre away, and at an altitude of up to 500 feet, the drones allow the RCMP operator the ability to capture real-time, high-resolution video from a new perspective.
With the many advances in this technology, drones are easier to fly and safer to use in many of these high-risk situations. While they have only recently started to adopt and utilize the technology in field, as the technology advances and people become better trained, we can be sure to see increased use of this emerging tech. as a means of increasing safety for RCMP officers in field.