Carjackings are terrifying, dangerous, and can happen in seconds.
Across Ontario, Canada, law enforcement agencies are looking for safe and effective ways to address the concerning spike in incidents this year. According to the Toronto Police Service, the city had at least 94 carjackingsin the first five months of 2022, compared to 102 for all of 2021. Many of the incidents involved the use of weapons and physical violence. The list of victims includes Toronto Maple Leaf's winger Mitch Marner. In May, the NHL star was robbed of his Range Rover at gunpoint outside a movie theatre in Etobicoke.
However, as criminals adapt, so does law enforcement.
According to a report by BlueLine, drone technologies are providing police with a viable alternative to traditional operational methods. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are less expensive to operate than helicopters and other aircraft, they are easily transferable between sites, and they can effectively maneuver within various environments.
For Canadian drone companies like Draganfly, the objective is to develop comprehensive "Drone as First Responder (DFR)" programs that help officers reduce response times, increase situational awareness, and improve overall efficiency during critical missions. For more than two decades, Draganfly has developed cutting-edge drone solutions, software, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems that continue to improve public safety.
In 2009, the Draganflyer X6 helped Ontario Provincial Police’s Forensic Identification Unit collect evidence in a homicide investigation. This marked the first time a commercial UAV was used in emergency services in North America.
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Four years later, Draganfly’s Draganflyer X4-ES was credited as the first drone to save a human life. Equipped with an infrared camera, the UAV helped the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) locate an injured driver in a heavily wooded area in Saskatchewan.
Without the Draganflyer X4-ES, further search and rescue efforts would have been delayed until the following morning—dramatically affecting the victim’s chance of survival. To commemorate the heroic rescue, the drone remains on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Following this important milestone, Draganfly has continued to develop versatile, North American-made drone solutions to meet the needs of first responders.
During a carjacking, police departments can quickly deploy the company’s Surveillance and Reconnaissance Drone from their rooftop to the scene. Equipped with high-resolution RGB and infrared cameras, Draganfly’s Commander 3 XL Drone can help officials identify suspects in real-time and determine if they are armed before ground crews arrive.
Learn More About the Draganfly Commander 3 XL
Access to this information is crucial for the officers responding to the carjacking. When these robberies do not go as planned, armed suspects could discharge their firearms to ensure they do not lose the vehicle—such as when a 25-year-old male victim was rushed to a Toronto trauma center after attempting to drive away from an armed teenage suspect who wanted to steal his car.
When victims urgently need medical assistance, Draganfly’s Commander 3 XL Drone can be deployed to ensure that automated external defibrillators (AEDs), EpiPens, and other time-sensitive supplies are available at the scene. The high-endurance UAV can drop and winch-down systems that can transport up to 26 pounds for approximately 20 minutes. Its weather-resistant design also ensures strong performance in both light rain and snow.
With carjackings across the province becoming more brazen, such incidents endanger the safety of neighborhoods and put lives at risk. Draganfly’s Commander 3 XL and Surveillance and Reconnaissance Drones can help officers reduce response times, increase situational awareness, and improve overall efficiency.