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LAPD reports 2 more uses of its robotic dog

The LAPD said officers used the Department’s robotic dog, otherwise known as a “quadruped unmanned ground vehicle,” two times between October and December 2023: once to observe a man during a standoff who was suspected of firing a gun into his neighbor’s apartment, and once to try to contain a gun while officers negotiated with a man on a bus.

Each use of the QUGV requires the approval of the LAPD Deputy Chief who heads the Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, David Kowalski, and the Department reports the uses to the Board of Police Commissioners and the City Council each quarter, following public protests that the robot might be used to carry weapons.

The robot is equipped with a camera and an articulating arm that can be used to pick up or manipulate an object, like grasping and turning a door knob.

The LAPD said in its latest report Friday the robot was used on Oct. 17, 2023, during a standoff between SWAT officers and a man who was armed and had fired shots into the floor of his upstairs neighbors.

The robot was placed in a hallway and the live feed from its video camera, “allowed officers to remain at a safe distance from the suspect,” during negotiations.

The report said the man who fired the shots was arrested after “chemical agents” were introduced into the apartment.

The second use was on Nov. 8 in Hollywood, when police were called to a report of a man on a bus who was armed with a gun.

SWAT used the robot to, “create a barrier between the suspect and the firearm,” and the LAPD said the man surrendered and was arrested.

The LAPD first used the robot in August 2023, during a standoff with a man who appeared to be armed with rifle in the Mid-City area.

An arm attached to the robot was used to drag the rifle away while officers were negotiating with the man, who was later arrested.

The LA City Council approved the donation of the robot, which cost nearly $300,000, but created the requirement of quarterly reports on its useage.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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