Pennington County unveils two tactical robots

KELOLAND.com Original

Photos courtesy of Pennington County Sherriff’s Office

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The Rapid City/Pennington County Special Response Team now has two new tactical robots, thanks to a grant from the state Department of Public Safety.

These Vantage robots were purchased in November 2020 from Transcend Robotics are specially designed for SWAT-based situations.

“A robot is a life-saving option preventing the need to put people in harm’s way,” SRT Commander Captain Tony Harrison said in a press release. “We can better understand what is happening before engaging, leading to a faster resolution to a situation. For example, we used the new Vantage robot once and it took minutes to clear a scene versus potentially hours the old way of doing things.”

Photos courtesy of Pennington County Sherriff’s Office

An older robot was used in a July 2020 SRT call-out. Since it was older and had limited capabilities, the team looked for funding options and was able to purchase these new robots, providing resources for several simultaneous events. The Vantage robot can climb stairs better than other robots and is also fairly simple to use.

The robots will be used by members of the SRT, including Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Rapid City Police Department, Emergency Services Communication Center, Rapid City Fire Department and South Dakota Highway Patrol. They may also be used in patrol based situations.

In a press release, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said team members are now training with the new equipment.

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