PUEBLO, Colo. — Pueblo Metro Bomb Unit gets a new gadget to help them safely locate, identify and render safe explosives.
On Friday, the Pueblo Police Department along with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office unveiled and demonstrated what it’s new Telemax Pro robot could do at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.
The Bomb Unit, which is composed of deputies and police officers responds to incidents where explosives (potential explosive hazardous materials), and suspicious packages are known to be or may be present.
The $300,000 hi-tech robot was purchased with money Pueblo County received from the federal Justice Assisted Grant (JAG) program. The JAG program is designed to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system.
“The safety of the Metro Bomb team members and the public is a top priority,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “Being able to deploy a robot with the sophistication that this one has to check and render safe an explosive, increases the safety to our bomb team members and the community.”
The new versatile robot replaces an outdated model the Metro Bomb Team has utilized the past decade to assist with locating explosive devices in Pueblo County and in surrounding counties. Robots allow law enforcement to closely examine a device without putting the officers in danger.
“This joint effort to acquire this tool to safely conduct investigations, in arguably one of the most dangerous situations imaginable, is an excellent example of the commitment to public safety shared by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and the Pueblo Police Department,” said Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport.
The robot features a single arm that allows for an operator to move it horizontally or vertically and has the capability of lifting an object weighing up to 44 pounds. The robot can travel up to 6 miles per hour and is extremely mobile, allowing it to easily maneuver over stairs, slopes, gaps and obstacles up to 20 inches in height. Accessories, such as cameras and tools, can be mounted on the robot as well.
The functionality of the robot allows for a quicker assessment of suspicious packages which leads to a decrease in the length of time areas are closed during an investigation.
Metro Bomb Team members currently are training on the robot and expect to deploy it on calls later this spring.
In 2018, the Metro Bomb Unit responded to 80 calls for service.