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Rapid City Police and Sheriff’s Office test new tasers, drones and virtual reality

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:03 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A company called Axon has made their way to Rapid City.

“We are a company that creates technology for public safety,” says Axon Voyager I Truck Manager Sydney Ruder.

Their mission is to protect life, transparency and truth.

Ruder says it’s important to give agencies the power to invoke that, “We really want to make sure our law enforcement and other public safety agencies are able to do so,” by properly arming community led watch groups safety movements, “police departments and also Sherriff’s offices. It also means fire, EMS.”

Their first product is what got them on the map and Ruder says that their “claim to fame is the taser.”

It’s a non-lethal option to invoke cooperation and Dani, who works for Axon says, “We have the ability to de-escalate a situation with this weapon, because it has a warning arc.”

A warning arc is the arc of electricity displayed when pressing a button, in hopes to make criminals comply without firing.

Aside from drones and tasers, they’re newest product and inspiration behind making their operation mobile is virtual reality. Which, guides officers through decision-based community engagement training where people in the scenarios might be schizophrenic, autistic, a veteran with PTSI, etc.

They can test their decisions and see where they lead in a low risk setting and are able to switch between the perspective of both parties, engaging as the officer or the citizen, and Ruder says, “That then enables you to be able to empathize with the community members, understand what they’re going through, because you are quite literally seeing through their eyes.”

Friday is the only day the truck with be displaying their products in Rapid City, and then the truck is off to Nevada and continuing south down the western side of the country.

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