SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY — San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputies say a new explosive ordnance disposal robot is exactly what they needed.
“A little bit more pull to it, so we can actually pick up a little bit heavier objects, move things a little better,” Justin Ward, a sergeant with the sheriff’s office’s bomb squad, told FOX40.
Ward says the new robot didn’t cost the department a dime. It was purchased on a grant.
Earlier this month, Sheriff Patrick Withrow announced temporary cuts to an already understaffed department. The grant has helped the office stretch its budget.
The sheriff’s office also showcased a drone on Wednesday.
“We’ve used them everywhere from search-and-rescue, we actually were able to find a lost kayaker at McHenry Rec.,” Ward said.
Deputies say they’ve used the drone 50 times in the last two months.
But some families in San Joaquin County have concerns.
“It’s all about your privacy,” neighbor Derale Gross said. “If they take away your privacy, then where are they going to be stepping on you next?”
Like most law enforcement agencies, Ward says there are policies in place to ensure privacy.
“We’re going to do our due diligence to make sure that they’re used appropriately,” Ward said. “They are not going to be used for random surveillance in any way, shape or form.”