Officer, Meet Your New Partner!

 

You don’t have to go far into the above video to begin to think about how this might impact policing in America. When the film “Robocop” came out in 1987, it was a robot with a human brain – now Artificial Intelligencecan take over along with some hopefully legal, kind, and respectful programming!

Robots will soon be coming to a police station near you! In fact, the first robot (with human decision-makers) already have used deadly force against a cop killer (Micah Johnson, who shot five Dallas police officersand wounded nine others in 2016).

I predict this will be a growing industry along with already-available private robotsfor property and parking lot security in the commercial world.

How will robot technology affect public policing in the near future? What sort of laws and regulations should be put into place to manage this new technology?

But most importantly, how will city and county police agencies integrate robots into their operations? Can robots be sent to many 9-1-1 calls as immediate triage units? What sort of force programming will robots have available to them (pepper spray, Electronic Control Devices (Tasers), capture and restrain tools, and deadly force)?

While we may think of robots as drones (that is, controlled by a human person), today and tomorrow’s robots will be autonomous and not directly under human control (as the above video demonstrates).

This robot-dog will be available for sale to the public next year.

Would it be possible to come to some kind of consensus as to how these future robots are programmed? Will we be able to agree upon when and how persons are detained, interrogated, arrested, and resistance overcome? And will these new dog-like robots be the first to replace our dear and beloved canines?

I have in mind how I would like a police robot to operate, but we may have the same ideological arguments we have today regarding “warrior-guardians,” and when and how force should be used in various police encounters and actions.

Think about it. Then get prepared – now!