Waterloo bomb squad robot same as one used in Dallas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo bomb squad robot same as one used in Dallas

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Technology used to halt a deadly attack on police officers could potentially do the same here in Iowa.

During last week's deadly police shooting in Dallas a robot was put into action to detonate a bomb and take out the suspect believed to have killed five officers and wounding fourteen more people. Law enforcement says it's the first time police have detonated a bomb with a robot to take out a suspect.

In Waterloo a similar robot is used. The robot has the ability to touch, hear and speak for officers yards away, keeping them safe during a potentially dangerous circumstance.

The Waterloo bomb squad has had their robot for over ten years. After recent attacks officers say they may start using it more than ever before.

Police were targeted during an attack in Dallas. Locally, officers are still in shock.

"It was a shock to us all and you know it still is, a seemingly peaceful demonstration those who weren't involved with it at all, and it just turned violent in an instant against law enforcement specifically, which it raises awareness for all of us," said Sergeant Brian Hoelscher, Waterloo bomb squad.
Something both cities have in common, a robot that can ultimately take the place of an officer during a dangerous situation.

"Dallas was an extreme circumstance and so everything just falls under the totality of those circumstances as to what level of force you use from the smallest use of force like putting a hand on someone verses just a controlling or up on to delivering an explosive devise with a robot," said Hoelscher.

A robot which killed the gunman in Dallas and could potentially do the same in Waterloo.

"We are out there to be with the community, support the community and to protect the community and sometimes it puts us in positions where we have to make choices like that, I can't imagine any officer saying I wanted to make that choice," said Hoelscher.

Sergeant Brian stresses the use of the robot can keep police officers safe during dangerous situations. Saying his main goal is to have all of the officers go home every night safely.

In the Dallas attack it was the first time police officers used a bomb robot to get a suspect.

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