Menominee Police Department showcases robot to students
The robot was given to the department by the U.S. Army as part of a surplus program.
MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Menominee Police Department showcased department tools to students on Thursday.
The department robot is operated by Det. Mitchell McRay of the Menominee Police Department. The robot was given to the department by the U.S. Army as part of a surplus program.
“It is very durable. It is on tracks so it can go through snow, sand, mud, and anything like that. It can go upstairs; it has a claw on it so it can pick stuff up. It also has some cameras on it,” McRay said.
The $80,000 robot was free for the department. It has been in Menominee for about two years. McRay said it is used when an environment is too dangerous for an officer.
“It can go in small areas too. So, if there is a smaller or tighter space, we can put it in there. Also, anywhere a human might be in danger, we’ll put that instead,” McRay said.
McRay added he does not know of any other department in the area that has this equipment. Students at Blesch Middle School saw a demonstration from the robot and the department’s K9 today. The sponsored event looked to better connect students with law enforcement.
“We are going to let them see that the officers here today are real people. Some of them went to this school,” said Ricky Boye, Menominee Downtown Business Association board member.
As part of the assembly, students were told they could compete to name the robot. The idea for it started in October during a trick-or-treat event.
“A little girl came up and asked us what the name of our robot was. We didn’t have a name. I thought immediately to go see the chief. That’s when we came up with the contest,” Boye said.
The name will be chosen during national police week in May, the winning class will earn a pizza party, served by the chief of police and the robot.
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