Residents of Vancouver could soon look up to see an eye in the sky, operated by the Vancouver police.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says it’s bought three drones for use in police work, and is taking a new internal drone-use policy to the city’s police board on Thursday for approval.
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The department says the new policy was developed with input from a variety of stakeholders, including Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the BC Civil Liberties Association.
It says the drones will be used for a variety of purposes, including vehicle collisions, crime scene reconstruction, search and rescue and disaster zone analysis.
The department says it will not use the drones for surveillance.
However, the policy does outline potential for drone use for “critical incident / tactical awareness.”
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The policy also lays out potential to use the equipment during hazmat incidents where it may not be safe for people to investigate.
The new drones for police work include one larger FLIR SkyRanger and two smaller Mavic 2 Enterprise units. The VPD has also squired three Spark drones for training purposes.
In total, the drones, accessories, training and insurance are valued at more than $141,000, but the department will pay just $41,068.29 due to a grant from the Vancouver Police Foundation.
The VPD says if the policy is approved, it plans to have the equipment in operation by the end of the year.