Tactical Robot Donated to BCPD By Firehouse Subs
The Bossier City Police Department has a new tactical police robot worth over $25,000, and it's all thanks to a grant from Firehouse Subs' Public Safety Foundation.
"In the last 10 years, we have been able to raise and make donations totaling $18-million in 45 states and Puerto Rico, which I think is great," said foundation spokesman Jim Maxwell. "And that's through the efforts of our team members and franchisees."
Maxwell said there were nearly 80 grants approved for $1.2-million throughout the country just last week from the foundation.
"This happens to be the third grant in the Bossier City and Shreveport area that we've been able to do over the past year," Maxwell said. "We're real happy to do it, we're proud of what we do, we're proud of being able to give back to the community, and we're really proud of our franchisees and team members who really make this happen."
Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker took a moment to thank the foundation for the new equipment.
"This is a tremendous thing you're doing for public safety, and the record of what you all have done with that initiative is really, really outstanding," Walker said. "On behalf of the police department, I want to thank y'all for this addition to our capabilities and equipment to address emergencies."
BCPD Deputy Chief Richard McGee said officers initially thought the robot would only be useful in police situations, but it actually gives them the ability to respond to a wide variety of emergency situations.
"Hazardous material, maybe hostage or barricade situations. This robot does a few things that we have not been able to do. We have a larger robot, but it causes us to somewhat be restricted in what we can do," McGee said. "It gives us the opportunity to put through a window, put through a door, very easily -- and two-way communications...we had some restrictions before we got this."
The Robotex AVATAR II is also equipped with ambient and infrared lighting. McGee said it has been deployed one time so far in a tactical situation, and it has worked well. The department will utilize it to search hostile, dangerous environments and structures, as well as remotely search for armed suspects.
Check out the robot in action: