Greater Sudbury Police applied for provincial funding for a drone last month, but have since learned that the technology wasn't eligible under the guidelines of the program.
But Chief Paul Pedersen said this week police still plan on pursuing it.
"It didn't meet the guidelines for submissions,” Pedersen said at the police services board meeting Wednesday. “So we're going to explore other alternatives because I do think it makes good business sense. I do think it really is a money saver for this community. So while we may not get it through that funding source, we'll look for other ways."
Already in use by several police departments across Canada, Sudbury police are looking to add drones to their arsenal of equipment, a tool police say will save them time, money and improve their response to emergency situations.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as police call them, are already widely used by the Ontario Provincial Police, which employs them for such things as quickly detailing the area around traffic collisions and for search and rescue operations.
Pedersen said last month a drone can do mapping of a crime or accident scene in a fraction of the time it takes now.
"The missing persons cases are a prime example of where a UAV could go up very early on, very quickly scan a larger area than we could ever cover by foot," he said.
"So this is a tool that's going to be available for those quick searches that get us up over top and looking around when we're tracking someone. The UAVs can go over top and give us a truly bird's eye view."
The drones cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands and have similar capabilities to helicopters, a piece of equipment the force doesn't have.
If they are able to get funding, local officers would have to be trained on using them by one of the departments in the south of the province already using them.