Rankin County deputies use robots to help fight crime - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Rankin County deputies use robots to help fight crime

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

There are new eyes patrolling the streets to keep the community and officers safe, but they are not human and don't mind going in harm's way. Rankin County Sheriff Brian Bailey wants the public to know why most robots are not lethal, but lifesavers.

Sheriff Bailey said his department has two fast moving robots that are used to disrupt bomb threats and help in hazardous, hostage and tough negotiation situations.

“A couple of months ago, we had a person in a trailer around Florence that we tried to pick up for a drive by shooting and he wouldn't come out the house," said Bailey. "So we sent the robot inside.” 

The state-of-the-art machines can even roll up to cars to scope out suspicious drivers and what's inside.

“I don't want my deputy getting shot," added Bailey. "So all we have to do is drive the robot up to the person and communicate with them, just as we were standing there,” said Sheriff Bailey.

Last week, Dallas Police used a high tech robot to deliver the bomb that killed Micah Johnson, the suspect who gunned down five officers.

“There are no plans right now. There are no offensive weapons on the robots," said Bailey. "Now, I am not going to second guess anything that happen in Dallas, they used the equipment and knowledge they had at the time to stop the threat they had, but as far as robots being armed nationwide for police, no, I don't see that happening. All lives matter, blue lives matter, and that machine would protect police officers.”

Rankin County Resident John Windham got to check out the robots in action as he walked in the sheriff's department.

“I wasn't expecting, when I pulled up, to see the little thing crawling across the parking lot with a barrel and a camera,” said Windham.

“These robots are a cheap insurance on a deputy's life,” Bailey added.

The price tag for the two Rankin County robots was $85,000. They were paid for with drug forfeiture and county funds.

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