Cops invest in new drone technology

| 08/08/2018 | 38 Comments
Cayman News Service

New RCIPS surveillance drone

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service tested new equipment last week during a simulation of a multi-agency rescue operation at the West Bay Public Beach. The RCIPS has been using small unmanned surveillance aircraft (SUSA) for almost a year but they have now purchased a larger capability model. Police said the new commercial standard drone is capable of carrying multiple camera payloads depending on the need, and last week’s training exercise 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 that 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, has been the DJI Mavic Pro. As a result of these trials and assessments, they have purchased a larger capability DJI Matrice 210 model.

The RCIPS has trained officers outside of the Air Operations Unit to a level of professional operator competence, and a police spokesperson said the public could expect to see the drones in operation more often.

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 out 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 MOU 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.

“As a result of a review that happened in 2016 when we looked at the search and rescue capabilities as a whole, one of the recommendations was to see how the fire service could provide assistance in appropriate circumstances,” Rivers said. She explained that the rescue exercise would help with ironing out any final glitches in the aim to boost rescue capabilities.

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Category: Local News

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Got my EMP cannon ready, come buzz over my yard and see what you get!

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  2. Yea says:

    There is no pleasing you all, no matter what government try, you bash. You all are so negative it shame me to know your a religious society. Is it fair to say no matter what Jesus said or do you all would bash him???

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  3. say it like it is says:

    Use one to patrol West Bay beach to spot our lowlifes stealing from our tourists while they are swimming.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry but are we now advancing to a Police state where our cars licence plates can be tracked and drones are surveilling us, without our consent? What is the oversight here? Will Court orders be required for the use of drones over private property?

    What happened to our right to privacy?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s a thought, dont do anything illegal and u dont need to worry about it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly.

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        • Anonymous says:

          If both of you yahoos can promise that all people including cops and politicians and religious leaders and lodge members and the rich will receive the same fair treatment as the common public and surveillance wont be used for revenge purposes or for favors….but you can’t and it never works out that way.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If I want to sit nude in my own back yard where nobody can see I am not sure, but don’t think I am breaking the law. If one of those drones comes anywhere near me, they are invading my privacy, which I value and have a right to.

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      • Hot Shot Foxy says:

        Heres a thought. If I haven’t done anything wrong and you’re invading my privacy, whos in the wrong then?

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      • Anonymous says:

        You aren’t doing anything illegal in your bedroom but you still keep those blinds up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Fun fact after a certain height you don’t own the air over your property ( Specific jurisdictions have different rules but in essence the some of the air over your property is yours but not all of it)

      Commercial planes fly over public land all the time without needing landowner’s consent. The mosquito plane or police helicopter is a great visible example of that rule in Cayman, they don’t have to ask for permission to fly over or even perform close fly-bys of your home, neither would a drone like this one

      They would legally be unable to record you inside your house but once you are outside and in public view you are fair game

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    • Mike says:

      Cheer up 10.43 am, just think how much cheaper this will be to do very similar job to present avgas guzzling helicopter. Hopefully it will have infrared camera capability, which the article did not state! With infrared cameras it can find people in water or land ,assuming they still have body heat. Once rescue / criminal suspect target is located, the helo can then be efficiently deployed, offering great fuel and manpower savings. Win win buddy. The surveillance by the drone is no more than present helo, so I do not see what your argument is regarding privacy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        For obvious reasons. A drone can go and pry where helicopters can’t. I can see many positives but use by police, or anyone should nevertheless be regulated to respect privacy where possible.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Same could be said about the helicopter and the license plates are another matter altogether. Who’s gonna say they cant?

    • Ian says:

      If you have nothing to hide then no need to worry about privacy

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Must be nice to get paid for flying a toy around.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Now if we could get the drones to airlift green iguanas ….

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Big brother is watching you!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Lets use it to photograph, map and record vehicle accident sites so the roads can be open more quickly.

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  9. Guy Ebanks says:

    I am told that no Caymanian in charge…Why we paying for this? Why no Caymanian in charge? Sell it and be rid of them all…..

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  10. Anonymous says:

    the helicopter is also used for inter-island emergencies and sea emergencies too distant for a guided drone.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    So technology is great and everyone is quick to jump onboard initially, my question is will the drone help you the next time a category 5 rolls thru or you forgot the bung out halfway to 12 mile bank, or you suffer cardiac arrest while vacationing in the brac or little ? Each piece of equipment has its advantages and disadvantages, the helicopter is no different.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is probably why they are running it all together

    • Mike says:

      1.55 am this cannot replace the helo, but is will certainly reduce flying time and costs, and can get up there a lot faster than any helo with pre-flight check times etc.

  12. Elvis says:

    Hehe they selling the chopper?
    Need a small pilot now though right?
    Toys for boys, they useless to be honest.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of the helicopter and out source any immediate need to private sector and go with the drones, much cheaper .

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  14. Unemployed says:

    LOL

    10,000 dollars each time to fuel our annoying noise making helicopter!

    Looks like its pilot got a better replacement. :))

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