The Kenosha Police Department is in the process of purchasing an armored truck for tactical reaction during violent scenarios, as well as a camera-enabled robot that can be used in real-time situations to reduce the risk to officers and bystanders. According to the department’s capital improvement plan, the Lenco Bearcat armored transport truck will have a “Throwbot” for Communication during incidents when people have barricaded themselves, a long-range acoustic device, and a $333,000 price tag.
According to interim Chief Eric Larsen, who examined the vehicle and its high-tech equipment with the Public Safety and Welfare Committee last week, the department established its unique weapons and tactics team earlier this year. The committee approved the Bearcat procurement and budget. According to Larsen, SWAT tactics have altered “significantly” in the last decade, and tactical units gain time to defuse a situation. According to Larsen, officers can do just that because of the armored vehicle’s robot and Communication gear.
According to SWAT squad tactical leader Lt. Aaron Dilhoff, the vehicle and equipment enable police to create opportunities for better Communication. Without such technology, an armed cop may be forced into a “face-to-face conflict” with someone who is also armed, according to Dilhoff.
The Bearcat, he explained, is not a weapon system vehicle but rather a vehicle for transporting law enforcement personnel. It can also be used to securely evacuate people from a dangerous gathering, whether indoors or outside. When police Capt. Thomas Hamm was struck in the head with a brick in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting a year ago, that scenario played out.