On Tuesday, the LA Council voted 8-4 to approve the implementation of 'Robot Dogs' with the Los Angeles Police Department after pondering the decision since the first week of March. However, representatives from the LAPD have assured the public that their new $280K tactical machines will not be weaponless and only be used for SWAT (and search and rescue) initiatives, which would allow for their officers to be in the line of danger less. However, critics of the new technology fear that it may result in members of Black and Brown communities being criminalized.
"Our communities have been loud and clear; they do not want this technology in L.A.," Said Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez. "We've seen these robot dogs crop up in other police departments around the country, including New York and San Francisco, where the community is similarly fighting back against bringing this kind of depersonalized, military-style technology to municipal police forces."
The 'Robot Dog' was created by Boston Dynamics and offered to the LAPD's Metropolitan Division as a gift. Its official name is the "Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle." Thus far, the technology does not include facial recognition software.