Police robots are becoming more widely used by departments across the USA. Their use in the past has been to gather information without risking the lives of police officers. But their use against human suspects has been making news of late as well.
The scumbag who launched a one-man jihad against the Dallas Police Department met his maker thanks to a Dallas PD robot armed with an explosive charge. And just this week, a suspect in Los Angeles County standoff with police had his gun swiped by a stealthy police robot while he wasn’t looking.
The LA suspect promptly surrendered without injury to anyone after being disarmed. That’s a happy ending as well.
Here’s the details of the LA incident, as reported in the LA Times.
An hours-long standoff in the darkness of the high desert came to a novel end when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used a robot to stealthily snatch a rifle from an attempted murder suspect, authorities said Thursday.
Officials said the use of the robot to disarm a violent suspect was unprecedented for the Sheriff’s Department, and comes as law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on military-grade technology to reduce the risk of injury during confrontations with civilians.
“The robot was a game changer here,” said Capt. Jack Ewell, a tactical expert with the Sheriff’s Department — the largest sheriff’s department in the nation. “We didn’t have to risk a deputy’s life to disarm a very violent man.”
About a dozen years ago, the Champaign County (Illinois) bomb squad brought their robot to a Guns Save Life meeting and showed us how it worked. It had the ability to shoot (two, single-shot 12-gauge smooth bores), x-ray, photograph, probe, prod, grab and carry things. It could traverse stairs and talk to bad guys, too, and had some basic tools it could employ as well.
I don’t remember exactly what it cost, but the feds paid for most of it. I’m sure that if you’re the officer who doesn’t have to get shot at or mess with an explosive device, the robotic technology is priceless.
No doubt technology has advanced dramatically since then and will continue to do so.