Adding new technology to Saskatoon’s police plane has helped to increase the Air Support Unit’s efficiency.
That’s according to a report to the Board of Police Commissioner’s report late last year (2018) with 1392 calls for service in 2017, leading to 221 arrests and 726 charges. That’s a 71 per cent increase from 2016.
Police Commissioner Darlene Brander says along with more hours in the air, the success can be attributed the new airborne camera and the Augmented Reality mapping System (ARS).
The Saskatoon Police Service Air Support Unit has become an internationally recognized police aviation program.
The report states that the infra-red capabilities of the camera system have proven to be an invaluable resource for day and night searches and is considered by many in the police service as one of the best operational initiatives the SPS has initiated in recent history.
Along with responding to dispatched calls, the ASU also initiated property checks in areas of high break and enter activity, conducted river searches, and monitored police traffic stops to ensure the safety of officers.
Also in 2017, 16 fires were located and reported.