Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program: Medicine Hat Police

Medicine Hat, Alberta – The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) introduced a new resource today – an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), intended to create efficiencies while increasing the safety of the public and police officers.

The program was made possible when four DJI Mavic Pro 2s’ UAVs were generously lent to the MHPS at no cost.

Medicine Hat Police - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program
Medicine Hat Police – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program

The use of UAV’s are heavily regulated by Transport Canada and MHPS policy directs that they will be used exclusively for; aerial photography and the reconstruction of serious motor vehicle collisions / outdoor crime scenes, as well as for search and rescue and tactical purposes including calls for service involving armed subjects with a weapon and/or barricades subjects, incidents involving hostages and incidents involving explosive devices.

UAV’s have been used for domestic police work in Canada and the United States for over a decade, including by all other major police services in the provinces, and have demonstrated their effectiveness in police applications. The MHPS currently has two officers, who are certified to operate the UAV’s.

The MHPS is mindful of public privacy concerns regarding the use of drones, and has limited the scope of deployment to be respectful of these concerns. “UAV technology has the ability to increase community safety and we would be remiss as a Service not to explore it. Obtaining the equipment at no cost has allowed us to do so in a fiscally responsible manner, while also ensuring that public safety and privacy concerns are at the forefront of our deployment. The drones will be used in an operational capacity and not as a surveillance tool” says Chief Andy McGrogan.

Specifications of the DJI Mavic Pro 2s’ UAV’s:

The Mavic is a specific type of drone called a quadcopter, which gets its name from the four rotors that generate lift and allow it to fly. The Mavic 2 Pro is rated for up to 31 minutes of flight on a full battery. The drone has a wing span of 30cm and weighs approximately 900 grams. Specifications include:

Backward and side facing cameras for obstacle avoidance

Top and bottom facing IR TOF sensors for obstacle avoidance

Top speed of 45mph

Quiet propellers

Long 8Km range using Ocusync 2.0

H.265 video recording

Medicine Hat Police Service



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