BERGEN COUNTY - The man who opened fire on police officers during a protest in Dallas was killed by a police robot with a bomb. It appears to be a first in law enforcement.
The robot used to take out Micah Johnson was originally used by bomb squad technicians to diffuse bombs. Johnson got into a standoff with police after killing five officers and wounding several others Thursday night.
Officials say that using the robot was a last resort, when Dallas police couldn’t risk sending more officers after Johnson.
New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies have several bomb squads that have these bomb robots and work in a task force.
The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office has two remote controlled robots that they can use to disable explosives, do surveillance or even incapacitate suspects.
“Any time you can substitute a robot piece of equipment for a live person [it’s good]” says Lt. John Laduca.
The agency used one of these robots in Carlstadt after a father killed his wife and then took his own life earlier this week.
“Instead of sending officers in, they sent the robot in with the camera...to scope everything out and it turned out he had taken his own life,” says Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino.
Dallas police took their robot use to a new level by using it for lethal action.
The Bergen County Sheriff's office says that police robots are generally used to prevent risks, and reduce deaths. The robots cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. But in the end, officials say that it is just equipment.
“Any time it could be used and is helpful to save officer's lives we will deploy it and use it,” says Sheriff Saudino
Bomb technicians trained to work with the robots can use their skills anywhere, according to officials.