LAPD competes in Robot Rodeo

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By Tris DeRoma

Even though the title has as the word “rodeo” in it, it was all business at the 2014 Western National Robot Rodeo.
The event took place June 23-27 inside the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 49.
This year, five bomb squads from New Mexico and their bomb-diffusing robots participated, as well as two teams from Colorado and one team from the United Kingdom.
New Mexico teams included the Los Alamos Police Department, the Albuquerque Police Department, The New Mexico State Police, Kirtland Air Force Base and the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s office.
Out-of-state and international teams included bomb squads from the 748th Ordinance Company from Ft. Collins Colo., a regional team from Colo. and a team from the British Army.
During the weeklong event, the teams competed in different types of scenarios they were likely to come across in the performance of their regular duties.
Exercises included diffusing of IEDs, (improvised explosive devices), car bombs, navigating obstacle courses, and operating in darkened buildings.
The Los Alamos Police Department, for example, was involved in a scenario that involved assisting the U.S. Border Patrol. The operation included deploying two of its robots to examine a suspicious package found in the trunk of a car that two suspects recently fled.

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