Staunton police now have a new member committed to keeping officers themselves safe.
It's a robot that has yet to be named, but it can see, speak, open doors and climb stairs. Staunton police acquired the $80,000 robot last December and have already used it three times: in a search for a murder suspect, in a barricade situation and to investigate a suspicious package.
"It allows an operator from a safe distance to go in and take a look around, see what the situation is, look for somebody, look for incidents. It can be used to pick up packages. Anything suspicious in nature we may not want to have an actual person put their hands on," said Ryan Brown with Staunton police.
Police say the technology is new to law enforcement and the department has agreed to share with neighboring departments.