CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —
Charlottetown Police Services is getting a state-of-the-art drone that is equipped with thermal-imaging technology.
City council voted unanimously recently to spend $89,766 on a SkyRanger R70 from FLIR Systems The price tag includes training officers on using the device as well as shipping and taxes.
“This is, I think, a very strategic purchase for us in that it is going to allow us to continue on our path to levering technology to better protect our communities, our front-line officers and support our partners in the city,’’ said Deputy Police Chief Brad MacConnell.
Coun. Bob Doiron, chairman of the protective and emergency services committee, went one step further.
“We deem it as a life-saving piece of equipment,’’ Doiron said. “Many police departments in the Maritimes and across Canada have the exact same one.’’
It’s certainly a pricey piece of equipment considering people can purchase recreational drones at hobby stores with the cost ranging from a few hundred dollars to $4,400.
However, MacConnell said there is a huge difference between what people use for hobby purposes and what the police department is getting.
For example, he said the SkyRanger R70 features an aerial visual system that can function in the most challenging of weather conditions, it can fly in sustained winds of 65 km/h and in wind gusts of 90 km/h.
“Hobbiest-level drones cannot do that,’’ the deputy chief said. “When we invest in a piece of technology like this and raise the public expectation that we have this type of equipment and are able to use it in challenging times, we need to be able to meet that expectation.’’
Doiron admitted the cost was a concern but he said council feels the benefits outweigh the price tag.
“This is a high-end drone and, in most situations, you’ll find it’s not always a bright sunny day when you need something like this,’’ the councillor said. “It could be (used) in a storm, a fire, a disaster; it’s going to be ready to go. There are no limitations. When you look at a person’s life, this could really be a life-saving measure, so you have to balance that with the cost.’’
MacConnell said it would be useful in a missing person’s case, “whether it’s someone with mental health issues that has walked away from the hospital … especially at nighttime where it is very challenging to locate those people when they’re at risk to themselves.’’
The drone can also carry up to 4.4 pounds, so police could use it, for example, to get a life jacket to someone in the water.
Doiron added it would also prove invaluable in a situation involving an armed suspect, giving police an extra set of eyes from a safe distance.
Need to know
Following are some facts around the usage of drones:
– Transport Canada says drone pilots with a basic drone pilot certificate do not need to seek permission before each flight but must fly in an uncontrolled airspace 30 metres away from bystanders at all times.
– Transport Canada also points out drone pilots can fly within a controlled airspace around an airport if they have an advanced drone pilot certificate, a drone that meets the relevant safety assurance requirements to conduct advanced operations and permission from air traffic control (Nav Canada).
– The City of Charlottetown purchased a SkyRanger R70, the same model used by the municipal police force in Fredericton, N.B.
– The SkyRanger is also used by the following municipal police forces in Ontario: Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Peel, York Regional, Toronto and Halton.
The department will also be doing a privacy impact assessment for the province’s privacy commissioner.
“We will keep her updated on new technologies that we’re implementing as we move into this … and we will do it responsibly.’’
MacConnell said with the ongoing pandemic situation, it’s hard to say when the department will take possession of its drone. Officers with the tactical response team will first receive the necessary training.
Transport Canada put new regulations into effect on the use of drones last June.
Alexandre Desjardins, senior communications adviser with Transport Canada, said it works closely with first responders who are using drones in search and rescue, firefighting and other scenarios where getting quick view from the sky allows for a more informed response.
ARTS AROUND: Alberni Valley artists come together at Rollin Art Centre – Alberni Valley News
“TOGETHER” is the newest art exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre, featuring the collaborative talents of Cecil Dawson, Allen Halverson, Nigel Atkin, Lori Shone-Kusmin and Jennifer Taylor.
These five local artists collaborated over the past few months to create a truly spectacular show. This exciting exhibit touches upon significant social issues and features First Nations paintings, surfboard designs, carved river otters, drawings, cedar paddles and so much more.
We invite you to check out our website at www.alberniarts.com, where you can view this and other current exhibits in order to support some amazing artists and the beautiful work they create.
Or give us a call at 250-724-3412 and set up an appointment to come see this worthwhile exhibit.
The exhibit runs until Oct. 7.
ART WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS
Summer is meant for fun in the sun, being kids and spending time with friends.
The Rollin Art Centre will be holding art workshops for children aged nine to 11 every Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to noon.
These four-day workshops are filling up fast, as space is very limited. Each week will be a different medium: Sculpture (July 14-17), Drawing I (July 21-24), paper crafts (July 28-31), Painting II (Aug 4-7), nature art (Aug 11-14), Drawing II (Aug 18-21) and multi-media art (Aug 25-28).
All art workshops will be held outside to follow social distancing guidelines. The cost is $50 per week. Register today by emailing email@example.com or call 250-724-3412.
Every Monday morning (10 a.m. to noon), the Rollin Art Centre will be holding writing camps for kids aged 10-12. Workshops feature a different genre each week.
All writing workshops will be held outside to follow social distancing guidelines. Each week’s workshop costs $15. Spots are very limited, as only five children will be allowed to register per week, so register today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
GARDENS ARE OPEN
The Rollin Art Centre’s gardens are now open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., for you to wander and enjoy.
Please note that outdoor areas such as benches and the swing, bandstand and other outdoor touchpoints are not regularly sanitized. Washroom facilities are not available for use.
While on the grounds, please supervise children at all times, supply your own hand sanitizer and practice social distancing by staying two metres apart unless you are part of an established “bubble.” If you are not, and physical distancing is not possible, we recommend that guests wear a mask.
Student Abigail McGourlay wins lockdown art competition – BBC News
A lockdown art competition for young artists has been won by a Sheffield student’s self-portrait.
Abigail McGourlay, 20, was the winner of the national Isolation Artwork competition with a painting of herself in the bath, called Brewing.
Ms McGourlay is in the second year of a fine art degree at the University of Leeds.
“It is due to lockdown that I have rediscovered my love of painting”, she said.
Ms McGourlay said: “The uncertainty of lockdown put me in quite a stressful mindset, and I found it at first difficult to feel motivated.
“This piece captures a real moment of comfort in both my two favourite things, a warm bubble bath and a hot cup of tea.”
The winning artwork, an oil painting on canvas, was selected from a shortlist of eight for the Arts Society’s national competition
Ms McGourlay also works as a swimming instructor and has been furloughed from her job while she continues to study from home.
Young artists were asked by the arts education charity to respond to the theme of isolation and their experience of lockdown.
“I’ve been painting non-stop since Brewing and I can’t wait to get some new ideas under way very soon,” the winner said.
All eight artists’ work is to feature in a digital exhibition until the end of July.
Ms McGourlay will have one of her artworks featured on the society’s 2021 membership card.
Bright blue picnic tables added to Vancouver Art Gallery's North Plaza | Urbanized – Daily Hive
One of the Central Business District’s largest public spaces has just received a colourful yet functional addition.
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) has acquired and installed eight picnic tables to the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery, on the West Georgia Street side of the building.
Andrew Nakazawa with the DVBIA says the organization first pitched the idea to the municipal government in May as a way of activating the plaza during a summer that will see all large events and festivals cancelled.
Instead, the picnic tables — complimenting the plaza’s existing street furniture — provides the public with another location to eat their lunch, get some sun, or rest.
All of the tables were custom built by Vancouver-based The Great Canadian Picnic Table company to encourage physical distancing. The 14-ft-long tables are configured into two rows with a seating gap in the middle section, allowing two groups to sit safely at one table.
Temporary signs on the tables will remain until an order for touchless hand sanitizers arrie and are mounted on each table.
The tables have been highly used, ever since they were ready for public use on Saturday.
Last month, White Rock City Council also approved a street furniture expenditure of $10,000 for up to 20 picnic tables on the waterfront and other public spaces. Another $2,500 is being provided by the local business improvement association, with the same company also supplying the tables.
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