Police invest in new drone technology

Friday, August 10, 2018

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC) – The police service will be using new drone technology in the fight against crime with the purchase of new equipment.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service last week used a new commercial standard drone during a simulation of a multi-agency rescue operation at the West Bay Public Beach.

The police force has been using small unmanned surveillance aircraft (SUSA) for almost a year but officials say the drone is capable of carrying multiple camera payloads depending on the need, and last week's training gave operators a chance to gain more experience using the drone.

In its recent annual report the Civil Aviation Authority noted the significant increase in the use of drones and the challenges that poses to air traffic, but the RCIPS said its equipment is regulated under the authority through the Air Operations Unit.

The drone model the RCIPS has been using for the past year to secure evidence at crime scenes and remote searches, as well as to produce high-level professional imagery.During last week's test, the drone was part of a coordinated exercise that involved police, the Cayman Islands Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in a dummy rescue of a swimmer in trouble using the CIFS boat and the police helicopter to coordinate the rescue.

Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers said the exercise was to test the new drone and the ability of the fire service to support the police and the marine unit in an emergency.

She explained that the goal was to enter into a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies to improve the local capabilities for inshore rescue.

In the past the RCIPS Joint Marine Unit had sole responsibility for rescue missions at sea, but last year the fire service purchased a boat and wave-runners to enable them to assist.

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