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The Wrangler

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Does the innovation of the police robot live up to its expectations?

K5+starting+to+patrol+in+the+busiest+stations+of+New+York.+
NY Times
K5 starting to patrol in the busiest stations of New York.

With the rise of technology, it can’t be a surprise that an innovation called the police robot has arrived. Traditionally, police officers go through over 800 hours of rigorous training to prepare for service to the city (basic police academy.gov). Can a simple robot tend to all the tasks demanded of a police officer? To answer this question, New York City deploys its first “fully autonomous” security robot in subway stations. 

This robot, K5, stands at 5 feet 3 inches and weighs nearly 400 pounds. It is weatherproof and armed with four cameras to surveillance the area, but developers are still working toward building a face recognition feature for K5. The police robot is the first to be supervised by a human police officer for two weeks. Once the two weeks are up, K5 is expected to patrol the station’s mezzanine level and present itself as a “mobile camera” that people could use to call for help. In addition to surveilling subway stations, the robot is set to provide security in hospitals, casinos, malls, airports, and warehouses.  

Many people have spoken out on their opinions about the new police robot, and there have been both negative and positive views said. Many people have enjoyed this innovation and even compared it to the droid from “Star Wars” films named R2-D2 as they both share similar features in appearance. In addition, the crime rates in the city have gone down 4.5% since K5 was placed in the station. Also, the price for leasing K5 is extremely low; it is  $9 per hour, which is below minimum wage, and the robot doesn’t require any meal or bathroom breaks (NY Times). Chelsey Mei (10) says,  “I think the new police robots can be really effective in preventing crime, especially in areas like New York, but I can see why some people feel privacy violations by the robot.”

I think the new police robots can be really effective in preventing crime, especially in areas like New York, but I can see why some people feel privacy violations by the robot.

— Chelsey Mei (10)

Despite the many optimistic views of the new police robot, there have been a few cynical voices about K5. Since the robot is recording the surveillance every second that it is on, privacy rights activists remain skeptical about the concept. Some comments have even been made, calling K5 a “trash can on wheels.” 

In conclusion, there have been many different opinions on the innovation. Whether technology is being overused in the present day is a burning question that will continue for years to come. All in all, Mr. Adam, the mayor of New York, is trying to use technology to improve law enhancement and make public transit a more accessible and safe method of transportation for all. 

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About the Contributor
Brenda Lu, Photojournalist
Brenda Lu is a Yorba Linda High School sophomore and is thrilled to partake in her first year as a photojournalist for The Wrangler. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, and playing with her dogs in her free time. She is also involved in extracurriculars, including PTSA, CSF, and YLHS Cheer. Brenda can’t wait to make more memories and see what this new year brings!

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