POLICE Magazine

NOV 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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22 POLICE NOVEMBER 2018 T echnology available to law enforcement agencies has vastly changed how officers conduct operations. And robots are a large part of this advancement. Devices such as remote operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater searches and tactical robots for navigating barricaded buildings allow officers to see and even hear what is happening in an environment without physically entering the space themselves. is cuts down on the time spent on calls and helps keep officers and citizens safer. JW FISHERS As the dive instructor and trainer for the Saratoga County (NY) Sher- iff's Office, Officer Mike Rogan uses the SeaLion-2 ROV from JW Fishers (http://jwfishers.com) to search for targets underwater without endan- gering the divers on his team. In one particular missing persons case, the team used the SeaLion-2 ROV to determine whether the miss- ing man's body was in a frozen pond near his house. "It was perfect for that, because there was just enough ice that you couldn't walk on it, and it wasn't safe to put divers underneath it. But we could get the robot in there and swim it around and know he wasn't there, and in that case it was particularly helpful," says Rogan. e SeaLion-2 has four high- performance motors and even more thrust is available with a Power Boost feature that provides the ROV with an extra burst of speed to com- bat heavier currents, but it can move slowly when needed to zero in on a target and use the arm on the front of the device. Rated to operate at a depth of 1,000 feet with cable lengths up to 1,500 feet, the SeaLion2 can be used in a wide range of bodies of water. It features front- and rear-facing color cameras with pan and tilt, and powerful LED lights on the front and rear. Saratoga County's SeaLion-2 also has a sonar head on it to aid in searches. Both the camera and sonar views can be seen on monitors to help the op- erators navigate. JW Fishers' top-of-the-line ROV is also designed to be easy to operate, utilizing a PlayStation game console controller. "A cou- ple of the divers on my team are gamers, and they took to that thing in 30 seconds," Rogan says. RECON ROBOTICS e rowbot 2 (TB2) robot from Re- con Robotics (https://www.recon- robotics.com) is a throwable micro- robot platform designed to provide officers with instantaneous video and audio reconnaissance indoors or outdoors. Special Agent Matthew G. Clifton of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Technical Services Unit used it to assist local law enforcement on a domestic dis- turbance call in which a barricaded suspect had fired on deputies. "We sent two guys up with their shields and they threw it through the windows. And inside of our Lenco BearCat, I was able to move the robot through the structure to find where the guy was: in a hallway with a gun- shot wound from a deputy that had fired at him," Clifton remembers. He was able to determine not just where the suspect was, but also that there was no one else visible in the structure—any hostages or other suspects. And although the build- ing was dark, Clifton was able to confidently move the robot around because of its night vision capability and its ability to transmit realtime video and audio to his location in- REMOTE CONTROL RECON JW FISHERS RECON ROBOTICS ROBOTS CAN ACT AS OFFICERS' EYES AND EARS IN DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, GAINING VALUABLE INTEL WHILE KEEPING OFFICERS SAFE. MELANIE BASICH

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