Hamilton Police elevate security for RBC Canadian Open
When planning security around the RBC Canadian Open golf championship at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in June, Hamilton Police Service put a new spin on the definition of high-tech security.
They incorporated new technology to detect and track drones in the area.
Working with airspace security company Dedrone, Hamilton Police Service established a drone detection strategy to ensure drones did not threaten spectators, distract play or record unauthorized footage of the televised event. The system involved the use of four of Dedrone’s radio frequency sensors to detect and classify drones up to one mile away, feeding information into its DroneTracker software platform. Hamilton Police invited staff and students from Mohawk College to install and operate the system.
“This was a great opportunity for our students to experience the technology, see how it works and see the importance of its use at an event like this,” says Matthew Shelley, a technologist at Mohawk College. The Hamilton-based college offers drone, or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), certification programs for security and industry applications and conducts applied research projects using drones with partners in a number of industries.
“Hamilton Police and Mohawk College have a long-standing positive working relationship. Mohawk College, with the support of Dedrone technology, GardaWorld Security and Golf Canada, made working together on event security, as it relates to drone activity, a natural choice,” says Inspector David Hennick, the Incident Commander for the event and representative from the Hamilton Police Service. “This partnership enhanced security at the event for all spectators, professional athletes, volunteers and staff and provided technology that would have otherwise been unavailable to the Hamilton Police Service.”
In the days leading up to the event, Dedrone completed testing and training with Mohawk College and Hamilton Police. During these training sessions, the group located and tracked down unauthorized drone pilots throughout the golf course. The drone hobbyists were educated about the risks of flying in a no-fly zone during tournament play. Unauthorized drone use in areas of heavy crowds can jeopardize public safety and interrupt first responders in emergency situations. They can also record illegal images and video footage at events, such as the televised golf tournament.
This community outreach and education proved effective as there were no additional unauthorized drone flights throughout the four-day event.
“Dedrone’s drone detection technology can be quickly integrated and deployed at sporting events, and provides actionable information for security teams to diagnose airspace activity and address any threats,” says Joerg Lamprecht, CEO and co-founder of Dedrone. “Major events like the RBC Canadian Open require multiple layers of security, and Mohawk College and Hamilton Police were proactive in extending their situational awareness to the lower airspace. Drone pilots will continue to fly in protected airspace, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Security providers for any open-air event, whether it be a golf tournament, parade, marathon or otherwise, must take action to protect the public from unauthorized drones.”
Drones are revolutionizing the way work is done. From construction projects to aerial photography to emergency response activities, drones are quickly becoming an essential tool for capturing images and collecting data. This project between Hamilton Police Service, Dedrone, GardaWorld Security and Golf Canada is an excellent example of how drone technology can be applied to the benefit of all partners in the execution of a safe and secure event.
Dedrone is the market and technology leader in airspace security. The Dedrone counter-drone platform combines hardware sensors and machine-learning software, providing early warning, classification of, and mitigation against all drone threats. Based in San Francisco, Dedrone was founded in 2014 and is backed by investors including Felicis Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco Systems and founder of JC2 Ventures.
About Mohawk College
Mohawk College has been providing a quality, higher education experience to students in Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding area since 1967. The college educates and serves more than 32,500 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three main campuses in Hamilton, at learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk, and at the college’s Aerospace Learning Hub at Hamilton International Airport. Mohawk is among the leading colleges in Canada for applied research. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers for six years in a row, and is also home to the country’s largest net zero energy institutional building. More than 125,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.