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Fla. PD introduces tactical robot dog

Chief Anthony Holloway says ‘Spot’ makes things safer for everyone


Boston Dynamics

By Suzie Ziegler

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new robot dog will be used to save lives, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway told WTSP on Monday.

The tactical robot by Boston Dynamics was introduced in 2016 and has since been met with mixed reviews, according to WTSP. Heralded by police departments as an invaluable tool, the robotic K-9 has also drawn unfavorable comparisons to dystopian horror shows like “Black Mirror.”

But Holloway says the robot, known as Spot, will help keep everyone safer.

“Spot will only be used on SWAT call-out, it is a de-escalation tool,” Holloway said. “Spot will be used on where, instead of sending an officer up to a scene, Spot can go up to that scene.”

Holloway says Spot can also be used by fire rescue and other public safety personnel.

“It can open a door. It can go inside, it can take a look around to see what’s there, what danger is there, instead of putting those officers in danger.”

Spot was purchased with $70,000 in donations from the Speer Foundation, the report says.

Donor Lisa Speer Vickers told WTSP that it’s her passion to build community relationships with police officers.

“The Speer Foundation — we really want to work with the community and help the community bridge the gap with the police officers, and anything we can do to give them information and resources that we can to help with that relationship, that’s what we really love to do,” Speer Vickers said.

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