Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Dogs Vets
Los Angeles Embraces Futuristic Policing with High-tech Robotic Dog –
Spot, the Robot Dog, Joins LAPD Ranks
In a revolutionary move that intertwines technology and law enforcement, the Los Angeles City Council approved the addition of a four-legged ‘robot dog’ to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) ranks. The council greenlit the acquisition with an 8-4 vote on Tuesday.
The state-of-the-art quadruped robot, affectionately named “Spot,” is a creation of renowned robotics company Boston Dynamics and carries a hefty price tag of nearly $280,000.
Spot was initially offered as a donation to LAPD’s Metropolitan Division by the Los Angeles Police Foundation in March.
This charitable organization has a long-standing history of support, having awarded more than $44 million in grants to the LAPD since 1998.
Spot’s Role in the LAPD
Designed to handle hazardous scenarios, Spot will be deployed in a variety of situations, including active shooter incidents, explosive assessment, hostage situations, and natural disasters.
Moreover, this robotic canine can be utilized in hazardous materials assessment, dealing with barricaded suspects, and search and rescue missions.
Spot’s capabilities, however, will be limited to these scenarios. According to officials, it will not be equipped with weapons systems, facial recognition software, or analysis capabilities. Furthermore, the robot dog will not perform routine patrol duties or engage in covert surveillance operations.
Public Concerns about Spot
Despite its promising role in public safety, Spot’s integration into the police department has raised concerns among critics who fear the robot dog might be misused to surveil and target disadvantaged communities of color.
Activists have been vocal in their opposition to this move, expressing their concerns during the city council hearing on Tuesday.
Paul Freedman of the Los Angeles Community Action Network remarked, “This is going to be deployed in areas where we blow up firework semis.”
He further argued that the robot wouldn’t be seen wandering the affluent neighborhoods of Brentwood or the Palisades.
Spot’s Future in the LAPD
The LAPD’s acquisition of Spot mirrors the steps taken by other law enforcement agencies, such as the New York Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the St. Petersburg Police Department in Florida.
Following a period of training and testing protocols, officials have announced plans to commence the use of the robot in the coming months. The majority approval of the City Council in accepting the robot dog has been appreciated by LAPD Chief Michael Moore.
He expressed his optimism about this technological addition, stating, “This technology will allow us to better protect our officers and the community, allowing us to use modern technology to de-escalate dangerous situations.”
The LAPD’s incorporation of Spot into its operations signals a new era of technologically aided policing and sets a precedent for future trends in law enforcement.
Original news source: ktla.com