Neb. PD gets grant funding for tactical robot
Officials said they hope the new robot will help protect first responders in certain emergency situations
By Hannah Schrodt
COLUMBUS, Neb. — Columbus Police Department officials said they hope a new robot will help protect first responders in certain emergency situations.
During its regular meeting May 16, the Columbus City Council gave the greenlight to accept a $65,720 grant from the Nebraska Crime Commission for the purchase of an Avatar III robot. The funds are available from federal COVID dollars, and the grant will completely cover the cost of the robot.
"Cpt. (Doug) Molczyk took it upon himself to write for this grant and it was approved," Police Chief Charles Sherer said. "This robot is really unique in the sense that it's got an articulating arm that can go out and it's got kind of a robotic hand that it can open doors and it can retrieve things. If we have situations where we have barricaded suspects or for some reason we can't go in or if there's a hazardous situation, we can send the robot in."