Yukon Police Department puts new robot on display

The Yukon Police Department was one of six public safety agencies to receive grants that have been used to purchase equipment for their agency.

More than $122,000 in grants were awarded by the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation during a celebration in Norman.

Yukon’s grant is $26,290 and was used to purchase a robot with an infrared camera and accessories. The department received the robot in September and already has put it to use.

In January, the robot was used to search for a suspect who fled into a drainage tunnel near Main Street. Rather than sending officers into the confined space, the robot was used to locate him.

The man eventually was arrested as he tried to escape through a manhole.

The robot also will be used as part of the Canadian County Special Operations Team. It will be used during high-risk and potentially hostile search and rescue missions, said Maj. John Brown, a spokesperson for the department.

Brown, who was joined by Patrol Officer Re’Shard Ellis at Wednesday’s event, said the robot allows the department to look for hazards without endangering officers.

“It is very beneficial,” Brown said. “It allows us to go into area that we wouldn’t want to send an officer.”

The department was awarded the grant in July and received the robot in September.

In July, while announcing the grant, Police Chief John Corn said, the robot was purchased with a no-match grant and is appreciated.

“It doesn’t cost anything in the way of taxpayer money or funds from the city. You’ve got to apply for those,” Corn said.

Yukon was the only Canadian County agency to receive funding.

During Wednesday’s event, officials with Firehouse Subs Foundation, said the money is well spent.

“We want to thank our donors who help us provide these lifesaving tools,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Senior Manager of Foundation Development Meghan Vargas. “Our first responders are our heroes and we want to be sure they have the tools and technology they need to protect their communities.”

Other recipients include the Edmond Fire Department, the Lexington Fire Department, the Village Fire Department, Tuttle Fire Department and Woods County sheriff’s office.

Yukon police Maj. John Bown and patrol officer Re’Shard Ellis, show off the department’s recently acquired robot, which was purchased through a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Yukon was one of six public safety agencies in Oklahoma awarded grants. Photo / Courtesy

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