The Appleton Police Department has received a grant from the local community foundation to help purchase a robot to be used in tactical response emergencies and by regular patrol officers. Other law enforcement agencies will use the device upon request, which APD says is the first of its kind in the state. The agency will receive the robot before year's end.
When the city's tactical response team hunkered down for a nine-hour standoff at a Grand Chute apartment complex last April after a suicidal man threatened officers with a knife, police used a robot to safely peek inside.
Police sent a durable, lightweight robot equipped with a 360-degree camera through a broken window. The robot, which is capable of climbing stairs and maneuvering through water, searched for weapons and located the man, said Appleton Police Lt. Mike Frisch.
"I think it gave us an extra piece of intelligence that we wouldn't have had otherwise," Frisch said. ...