About a dozen officers with the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) are now trained on how to operate the service's three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which were displayed during last week's Citizens' Police Academy.
MJPS currently owns three different sized drones including a mini (Mavic Mini 249gr), medium (Enterprise Dual 900gr), and large (DJI M300 RTK).
"The large one we have has different attachments for it, for a big spotlight, it has tracking features and basically it's a large remotely piloted aircraft," explained Constable Reggie Pawliw. "It has different tools and it helps to do our job. Helping with stolen vehicles, missing people, tracking, accidents, all kinds of things. It's a huge benefit."
The large drone (DJI M300 RTK) can operate in winds as high as 54 km/h with a temperature as low as -20. It includes a wide-angle camera, zoom camera and thermal imaging (IR). Pawliw said the DJI M300 RTK came with a considerable price tag.
He explained how the Mavic Mini 249gr is used.
"For the mini-drone, it's good for more tactical missions or more tactical operations we have. We're able to safely see what's inside the house or building before we actually attend inside. Just more of a safety feature for us."
The officers trained on how to operate the drones all went through the same training including ground school and a pilot exam. They keep their skills current by flying the drones at least one day per month.