Is Your City's Police Department Already Using Robots?

RealClear Contributor

            

For the first time, a police robot has killed a human being during a shooting event in Dallas this July. What you probably don't know is that there are other police robots all over the country...and probably in your local police department, too.

The Robotic Police Force

Traditionally, police robots have been used to do all sorts of tasks where there is a high level of danger to human officers. You might see them diffuse a bomb, scout an unknown area or perform surveillance on a suspect. But until this July, you never saw one kill a human being. And before now, you probably never wondered how many police robots there are in the U.S.

Where Are They?

There are robots already in place in various city, state and federal law enforcement agencies all over the U.S. According to DroneCenter, more than 200 different departments have robots through the military's 1033 program, in which used military equipment is requisitioned to various police and law enforcement agencies around the country. Look at the map to see if your local police department is one of the agencies that already has a police robot.

Using Robots

Police robots have been deployed in a number of cases. Recently, a robot was used to bring a pizza to a man who was threatening suicide. Through the 1033 program, law enforcement agencies may obtain unmanned ground vehicles, explosive ordnance disposal robots (bomb robots) and multiple police bots, such as the iRobot Packbot 510s and the MarcBot.

What Do You Think?

Where do you stand on the police robot debate? Are these great tools designed to protect officers, or unsafe machines that have just crossed a line? Share this story, and get involved in the discussion!

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