A Delta police officer flying one of the DPD’s new drones during a training exercise. (Delta Police Department photo)

Delta police launch drone program

Drones can fly day or night in a variety of weather to help Delta police and firefighters

The Delta Police Department has launched a new drone program as part of its overall public safety mandate.

The program, which took flight in August, costs approximately $120,000 and is funded in part by the Delta Fire Department.

“We will be using the drones in a variety of circumstances, such as helping to locate high-risk missing people, to document crime scenes and major collisions, provide structure and wildfire assistance to [the] Delta Fire Department, and for disaster response,” Supt. Harj Sidhu, head of operations for the Delta Police Department, said in a press release.

The drones can fly day or night, in a wide variety of weather, and the pilots are police officers who have completed ground school training and hold a Transport Canada Advanced Remotely Piloted Aircraft System licence.

The drones provide police with situational awareness of events that they cannot gain from the ground level, helping guide police response and ensure proper resource management, the release states.

For example, Delta police recently used a drone to assess crowd size and direction in order help ensure pedestrian safety during gatherings on the Surrey/Delta border after Canucks playoff games. In August, a drone was also used to help search for a missing senior with dementia.

“Given Delta’s complex geography including extensive coastline, large parks and Burns Bog, having the capabilities to do aerial searches in a variety of weather was important to us from a public safety perspective,” Sidhu said.

All drone missions must be planned and approved under strict policy and are approved by a DPD police manager, and NavCanada guidelines are closely followed.

“We understand there could be concerns from the public in regard to expectation of privacy now that this program is in effect,” Sidhu acknowledged. “I’d like to reassure the public that this expectation of privacy is considered in all circumstances, particularly in regard to the retention of any videos or images. Furthermore, our pilots will ensure that express and informed permission or judicial authorization is granted, unless there are exigent circumstances.”

Sidhu noted the expectation of privacy is a key element of the drone operating procedures established by the department; for example, if the drone is launched in a residential area due to a critical incident and films someone in their backyard, that person’s image would be blurred should the photo or video be required in court.

Further, the drones are not covert and have navigation lights, so the public can reasonably expect to see them in a variety of circumstances.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DeltaPolice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Drone footage of Canucks playoffs celebrations along Scott Road. (Delta Police Department photo)

Just Posted

(Image: CDC)
Fraser Health orders Surrey food-processing facility to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility also tests positive for the virus

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Six Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Lotto winner Erwin Espiritu. (submitted photo: BCLC media relations)
$1M lotto surprise for Surrey dad buying takeout food for son’s birthday

‘When I went to show my son, he said that there was six zeros on the screen, not three’

Pumpkins outside Malvinder Gill’s farm on 152nd Street in Surrey. (submitted photo: Sarah Wilson)
At Surrey farm, free pumpkins for donation to food bank

‘Amazing for the community, especially during the pandemic,’ says one local resident

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read