Bots and drones: Lakeland Police Dept. gets new tools to stay safe

- The Lakeland Police Department just bought a robot to send into dangerous situations, and it could help save the lives of its SWAT team members.

“It’s basically going to make everything safer,” Sgt. Chad Mumbauer told FOX 13.  “We can put this in and find the bad guy and not have to risk an officer’s life. So, it’s a game changer.”

On Monday, the SWAT team trained with the robot at a building scheduled to be demolished at Florida Southern College.

The robot, which cost $118,000, can open doors, break windows, bring a phone in to a suspect, and more. It can go up and down stairs, and even into water.

Until now, when Lakeland police needed a robot, they borrowed one from another law enforcement agency and had to send it to the crisis.

“I could take an hour, and hour and a half, they could be busy,” said Mumbauer.

Along with the robot, the agency just bought four drones. They see the drones doing surveillance from the air as the robot works the situation from the ground.

The SWAT team has not used the new robot yet, but an agency it is only a matter of time before they do.

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