Mayor Eric Adams and other New York City officials presented Digidog’s robotic dog and 2 new tech-based policing devices in April 2023 at a Times Square press conference.
The remote-controlled, 70-pound robotic dog, nicknamed Spot, will be deployed in risky situations like hostage standoffs and counterterrorism incidents.
“If you have a barricaded suspect, if you have someone that’s inside a building that is armed, instead of sending police in there, you send Digidog in there,” Mayor Adams said in a source.
“So these are smart ways of using good technologies.”
Digidog’s mechanical canine is not, however, The Big Apple’s first robotic police dog.
After the backlash that former city Mayor Bill de Blasio received in 2020, the contract was eventually canceled as critics said the device was “creepy” and “dystopian.”
“A few loud people were opposed to it and we took a step back,” Mayor Adams said.
“That is not how I operate. I operate on looking at what’s best for the city.”
The New York Police Department (NYPD) police Commissioner Keechant Sewell reassured that these high-tech devices will be used in a “transparent, consistent and always done in close collaboration with the people we serve.”
Two other new devices, which include a GPS tracker and a “Roomba”-like security robot, were rolled out in the city along with Spot.
“To safeguard our modern city in a forward-looking world, it is essential that our officers are equipped with the tools, training and technology necessary to do that job safely and effectively,” NYPD Police Commissioner Sewell added.