Example of a drone, seen in this undated photo. (Black Press Media files)

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

Vancouver police are one step closer to having drones added to its arsenal as a latest crime fighting tool.

On Tuesday, police released a new internal policy for the use of drones when it comes to police operations within Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Board will be meeting Thursday to review whether the use of drones should be approved for its officers.

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training, it said in a news release Tuesday.

“Remotely-piloted aerial systems, more commonly known as drones, are used by police agencies across the country,” Superintendent Steve Eely said. “The system will greatly enhance our ability to keep the city safe. We are committed to full transparency with our policy for the use of the equipment and want Vancouver residents to fully understand when and how the equipment will be used.”

ALSO READ: Residents in B.C. city complain about drones spying on backyards

If approved will be used for investigating motor vehicle collisions, crime scene analysis and reconstruction, as well as search and rescue and to analyze areas after a disaster.

Police ensured the drones would not be used for surveillance. The internal policy was developed over several months, and included consultation with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the BC Civil Liberties Association.

The total cost would be an estimated $141,000 per year to train officers and use the drones, but be funded, in part, by the Vancouver Police Foundation.


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