BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) When a suspicious package causes concern with law enforcement the Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad is called out. Now that team has a new tool to keep everyone safe.
Roughly 12 times a year the Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad is called to investigate suspicious items, like this incident in Appleton last May. It’s dangerous work, but now this team has a new tool to help keep them safe.
“You can’t even put a price on the safety that this gives us now,” said Lt. Chris Knurr of the bomb squad.
Knurr says one month ago the bomb squad took ownership of this new remotely operated robot. It is a smaller, quicker version of the team’s existing 17-year-old robot.
“This new robot is able to go up and down stairs a lot easier, get into tighter spaces, down aisles of buses, airplanes. It’s more maneuverable in tight spaces than our large platform robot, so it’s really going to come in handy,” Knurr said.
Purchased with a Homeland Security grant, Wednesday squad members put the robot through its paces, showing how easily it could climb stairs during a bomb or swat call and how its many cameras and high tech microphones are perfect for reconnaissance.
“If we’ve got to communicate with somebody in a tactical situation you can hear better, talk better, communicate better, hopefully makes everybody safer and helps the situation,” said Sgt. John Schuette of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office.
“Being able to do things as remote, enhances the safety of the bomb technician,” Knurr said.
While the new robot is definitely an upgrade Lt. Knurr says the older unit isn’t going into retirement.
“We can deploy them both at the same time if we need to, so we can have multiple teams working together,” Knurr said.
Working together to defuse dangerous situations as they happen in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad has been waiting five years for the funding needed to purchase the robot.