Poor old Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin. Today he told The Nation that the seldom-seen (and therefore seldom used) police blimp is laid up for repairs and ‘issues’.
Dottin refused to say when the blimp will be back in service, and any Bajan knows that is Bim-speak for ‘never’. Good lord, how many hundred thousand dollars did the Owen Arthur government pay for that bag of helium and some radio control parts and video?
And now it is rotting somewhere, virtually unused since its proud debut at the failed Cricket World Cup five years ago.
Dottin complains that the helium necessary to fly the blimp is expensive. Well, duh! Didn’t the police study the costs on a per-flight basis when they bought this turkey? I guess not ’cause the cost appears to have been a surprise to Commissioner Dottin.
Well, Darwin old chap, don’t you worry!
You see, technology has marched right on in the last five or six years and now the Royal Barbados Police Force can purchase UAV – unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles – for a lousy US$500 each. They are called Parrots, and they work with an iPhone or iPad and have incredible maneuverability along with HD video capability – live broadcast and recording. I’m not sure about their duration on station, but hey, for $500 bucks each you could afford to have dozens of them all over the island and you wouldn’t approach a twentieth of the cost of the Barbados Police Blimp.
So Commissioner Dottin, just fire up that iPad, iPhone or other smartphone, get on the ‘net and order a Parrot UAV for US$500.
You know: Internet. iPad. iPhone. Smartphone.
Commissioner Dottin, you know what I’m talking about, right?
The Nation: Blimp up for repairs
SUN, AUGUST 05, 2012 – 12:09 AM
THE BLIMP that was first deployed to help police keep watch and fight crime five years ago is out of commission for now.
The high-tech, state-of-the-art equipment, which was launched as part of security for Cricket World Cup (CWC) games held at Kensington Oval, is in need of repairs, Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin has confirmed. Continue reading