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Maricopa police deploying next-level technology

Posted at 10:25 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-24 16:02:53-05
Maricopa police say the department's new $60,000 tactical robot is already being deployed on high-risk calls. 
ABC15 got an exclusive look as the agency's Special Response Team trained with the robot paid for using money seized from criminals. 
"It's a force multiplier for us," said Lt. Mike Campbell. "It allows the officers to focus more on their jobs at hand instead of looking for the suspect." 
The machine, a Mini Caliber SRT manufactured by ICOR Technology, is equipped with five cameras, lights, and a high-reaching arm capable of searching bags and opening doors. It also features a two-way communication system, allowing officers to safely talk with someone inside a building. 
"We can actually have the robot operator or a crisis team negotiator talk to the bad guy in an effort to talk him into coming out," Campbell said. 
Since receiving the robot in October, the department said it's been used twice on calls where suspects were believed to be armed. Last year, the department also purchased a $23,000 drone equipped with a high-definition and thermal FLIR camera. 
"Being a smaller department, a 70-man department, anytime you can use technology, that's going to make your personnel go farther," Campbell said.