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Surveillance aircraft played key role capturing Bourque

Members of RCMP ERT (left) and Jason Bourque, alleged to have shot and killed 3 RCMP officers in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Members of RCMP ERT (left) and Jason Bourque, alleged to have shot and killed 3 RCMP officers in Moncton, New Brunswick.

by Joe Friesen, The Globe and Mail, June 6, 2014

The 30-hour search for Justin Bourque came to a sudden end Thursday night soon after the arrival of an aircraft rigged with sophisticated surveillance equipment normally deployed to patrol the Canadian coast.

As police on the ground struggled to track the man alleged to have gunned down three Mounties, behind the scenes officials at Transport Canada told the RCMP they had a powerful asset in reserve. It turned out to be key to capturing the accused killer.

The aircraft, a DASH-8, is the workhorse at the centre of the National Aerial Surveillance Program. What makes it special is its sensitive camera, the MX-15, which is used to monitor shipping lanes and detect environmental spills. With an armed suspect on the loose, and with three officers dead and two others wounded, getting close to him on the ground was a risky proposition. Mr. Bourque had been spotted a few times early Thursday, but then seemed to slip away into a wooded section of North Moncton. Read the rest of this entry