Drones, tanks, and heavy armored vehicles. The Madison Police Department is making some changes in their hardware and equipment, including buying a couple new drones.
In March, Madison police received a report of a missing disabled teen. To find the teen as quickly as possible, police borrowed drones from a neighboring department to aid in the search. The technology allowed them to cover more area and in turn, rescue the teen swiftly. Drones have become a staple for hundreds of public safety agencies, including many in Wisconsin. Despite being behind the curve on this, Madison police are hearing skepticism. Critics have expressed concerns about department overreach, privacy and the use of tax dollars.
In addition to the new drones, Madison police are trading in the vehicle that they currently use for “high-risk” operations. The current vehicle called the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) is a surplus military vehicle and is not ideal for an urban setting. However, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office is offering their Lenco BearCat, a smaller truck that is a much better fit. The Madison Police Department is currently seeking Common Council approval to purchase the vehicle.
Producer Alejandro Alonso Galva spoke with Dylan Brogan of Isthmus to find out more about the coming upgrades.