August 31, 2011
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Police consider $30k drone to take over helicopter work

The unit fits inside a suitcase and is expected to aid crash analysts

By PoliceOne Staff

BRITISH COLUMBIA — Police say a remote-controlled unmanned drone is expected to help crash analysts get better, faster images.

The $30,000 aerial vehicle being tested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) hovers over crash sites to take photos or video, according to BC Local News. It sends images to officers on the ground, who use them to reconstruct accidents.

The Draganflyer X6 will allow police to reopen roads faster after crashes than they can when using a helicopter, RCMP Insp. Norm Gaumont said. Because it flies at lower altitude than a chopper would – up to 175 feet – it can also capture more detailed images.

Officers are permitted to fly the unit, which fits inside a suitcase, at speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour.

The RCMP will test the unit for one year before deciding whether to buy one, Gaumont said.

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