Windsor police drone in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Bob Bellacicco / CTV Windsor)

WINDSOR -- The Windsor Police Service has officially added a new drone unit.

Police formally announced Wednesday that a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) is operational and now another tool available to help keep the community and officers safe.

"We definitely believe the value the RPAS brings to our service is incredible and will improve efficiency," says acting police chief Pam Mizuno.

Possible uses for the drone include:

  • Assisting in locating missing and vulnerable persons
  • Obtaining digital and aerial images to support criminal investigations
  • Helping at crash scenes
  • Assisting with marine emergencies
  • Assisting in calls where having digital images can reduce or eliminate risks to persons; such as a bomb call, hazardous material spill, and weapons call.

The drone is able to fly on a day with light snow and rain. It can handle wins of 50 to 90 km/h.

Police say the addition of trained officers piloting the drone can help in these situations and may lesson or even eliminate risks associated to these types of calls for service.

Six officers have been trained to pilot the drone.

Police would not release the cost of the drone, or if they have plans to have more than one unit.

Mizuno insists the unit will only be used for investigations, and not infringe on the privacy of residents.