Drone and Traffic Safety van

Occurrence #21-35078

Release Date: September 14, 2021


With the assistance of the Kingston Police Traffic Safety Unit’s new drone, officers were able to successfully and safely locate an elderly male who had been reported missing by a family member.


Beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 12, 2021 Kingston Police conducted a cell phone ping that indicated the 80-year-old was in the area near the Kingston Rowing Club. Nearby witnesses were canvassed and believed they observed a person matching the man’s description wandering into the densely wooded area of the former tannery site, located off of River St and Orchard St, just south of Belle Park.


A member of the Traffic Safety Unit was requested to attend with a new acquisition in 2021, a DJI Matrice 300 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). While predominantly used for overhead images of collision reconstruction scenes involving life-altering injuries or death, it has additional capabilities for the organization, including search and rescue. It is equipped with both a powerful zoom camera, infrared and night vision cameras, plus a floodlight.


Shortly after placing the drone above the forested area the elderly male was located by the Traffic Safety officer using the infrared camera. At approximately 10:00 p.m. officers on the ground were then directed to the man’s location where he was safely escorted out of the brush, medically cleared by paramedics and returned home to his family.


A reminder to the community to download the free iOS or Android app, what3words, that has been adopted and used by Kingston Police and other emergency responders in the Kingston area. In Ontario there have already been numerous stories of how missing or injured individuals have been quickly located due to the technology. More information on the app and its functionality from a Kingston perspective can be found on the City of Kingston’s website.   

DJI Matrice 300

Night view from drone

Infrared view from drone