By Jensen, Randy on October 17, 2020.
The Lethbridge Police Service used a little help from above to help return a missing person home safely this week.
The incident began when a person went missing from a west Lethbridge home about 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday and disappeared into an open field nearby. There was concern for their safety as they weren’t dressed appropriately for below-freezing temperatures.
Police determined their search for the missing person would benefit from the use of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly knowns as a drone. Lethbridge Police have invested in three drones, and an officer trained in the use of the craft was called in about 10 p.m. to conduct the search.
Despite challenges presented by cool temperatures, wind and obstacles including power lines and an electrical substation in the area, the police pilot was able to locate the man with the aid of the drone’s infrared camera. Directed by the drone pilot, fellow officers found the missing person and returned them home just before midnight.
Lethbridge Police have been using drones since 2015 for specific operational purposes including support for frontline resources, in critical incidents and search and rescue, LPS said in a new release. Lethbridge Police UAV pilots are trained, licensed and follow regulations and guidelines from Transport Canada and NAV Canada.