SPOT is a remote-control robotic dog that can climb stairs, open doorknobs, and move over rough or uneven terrain, and is the newest member of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Meet SPOT, Remote Control Robotic Dog, Newest Member Of St. Petersburg Police Department

ST. PETERSBURG, FL. – SPOT is a remote-control robotic dog that can climb stairs, open doorknobs, and move over rough or uneven terrain, and is the newest member of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

It can be used in extraordinary situations that involve a threat to human life and/or risk for First Responders, including active shooter response, hostage situations, search and rescue in an unstable building, exposure to biological or chemical hazards, mass casualty incidents, and natural disasters.

How the St. Petersburg Police Dept. will use SPOT:

  • Used to de-escalate intense situations or stand-offs, avoid use of force, or any situation putting an officer or the suspect at risk with gunfire.
  • Deployed under the supervision of the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Commander or Assistant Commander during authorized SWAT operations.

SPOT has a camera so that the operator can “see” what’s in front of Spot and control its movements from a safe distance.

SPOT also has an intercom, allowing the operator to speak with and hear a person involved in a high-risk situation. This would be especially useful in situations where a suspect is barricaded in a building or is holding hostages, police say.

The dog has no mouth, so it can’t bite. It is not a weapon and doesn’t carry anything that can harm people or animals, according to police.

SPOT would also be available for Fire/Rescue situations where it’s unsafe to deploy fire department personnel.

SPOT will NOT be used for: crowd control, routine police calls, surveillance or intelligence-gathering outside of an identified high-risk situation, traffic control, or any action to intimidate or coerce any person not involved in a high-risk incident.

No public funds were used to purchase SPOT, according to St. Petersburg Police Department. The Speer Foundation, created by the Speer family, including Brett and Lisa Speer Vickers, residents of St. Petersburg, and local business owners of Realty ONE Group Sunshine, provided the funds to purchase SPOT.

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