LAPD expo shows latest in less-than-lethal police robots, devices

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Saturday, June 8, 2024
LAPD hosts expo for less-than-lethal weapons, robots
From robots to advanced Tasers, the Los Angeles Police Department hosted an expo to preview the future of non-lethal policing.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department hosted an expo on Thursday that demonstrated the future of non-lethal policing.

Some 70 vendors came to the police academy to demonstrate robots, advanced Tasers and other devices that can de-escalate dangerous situations without the use of deadly force.

The robots were available in two-legged humanoid versions as well as four-legged canine simulators.

"What this individual has the capability of doing is they have full range of motion," said Michael Plaksin, whose company Alchera X develops police robots. "They can go ahead and communicate. They have the technology to raise their hands and walk around and be able to deter and detract from another individual."

The LAPD and other law enforcement agencies were shopping around here seeing what's available. The Police Commission has to approve major LAPD equipment purchases.

The LAPD is looking into less than lethal equipment to reduce the number of fatal officer-involved shootings

"We're having more and more incidents with people suffering from mental illness," said LAPD Capt. Christopher Zine. "Also people that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. So using effective less-lethal options gets us to effectively de-escalate the situation. And that's our goal. We've been de-escalating for as long as I can remember. And we're gonna continue to do so."

One of the less lethal options on display was the latest in Taser guns. The Taser 10 carries up to 10 cartridges.

"I think this will prevent a lot of lethal-force encounters," says David Staskiewicz, an instructor with manufacturer AXON. "Because now we can stand up to 45 feet and use time-distance-to-cover to be able to engage the suspect from a lot further distance than when we used to have to be 6 to 10 feet away."