Police Chief Grateful for Tactical Robot, Cold-Weather Gear Donated by ADS

Aurora, Ill.-based Alarm Detection Systems made the donation to the police department in the wake of a mass shooting on Feb. 15.

Police Chief Grateful for Tactical Robot, Cold-Weather Gear Donated by ADS

Alarm Detection Systems Owner Bob Bonifas meets with members of the Aurora Police Department's Special Response Team (SRT) during the July 10 demonstration.

AURORA, Ill. — On Feb. 15, a former warehouse employee who had recently lost his job went on a shooting rampage through his old workplace in this Chicago suburb, killing five workers and injuring another.

Aurora Police dispatchers began receiving reports of an active shooter at 1:24 p.m. Police arrived at the Henry Pratt Co. industrial complex at around 1:28 p.m. and were immediately fired upon. Five of six injured officers sustained gunshot wounds, but all survived.

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The throwable robot was demonstrated in an event at ADS’ headquarters in Aurora on July 10.

It took about 90 minutes to find the suspect before he was fatally shot, according to police reports. Investigators found a Smith & Wesson handgun in his possession.

Aurora-based Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) wants to make sure Aurora Police officers have tools that can help protect them if an incident occurs like the one they faced on that winter day.

“After the Pratt shooting, Alarm Detection Systems approached us and asked how they could help the Aurora Police Department,” Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman says. “Rather than donating money, they wanted to provide something tangible to us — something we could use in our operations.”

Ziman explains the department’s Special Response Team (SRT) is an “elite force of highly trained officers who respond to high-risk incidents and often withstand the elements for long periods of time.”

The temperature was 17 degrees at the time of the Pratt shooting.

“While officers are well-equipped to do their jobs, they were lacking some basic cold weather gear that had continued to move down the priority list. Thanks to ADS, they are now outfitted with gear that will allow them to weather the frigid temperatures,” Ziman says.

ADS donated 24 tactical jackets to the department.

“And because technology is continuing to advance in the policing industry — a concept ADS intimately understands — they purchased a throw robot for us. This will allow our SRT team to deploy technology to assess a situation before putting our team members in harm’s way.”

The facility where the shooting occurred is a 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse. It took police 90 minutes to painstakingly search the warehouse before they located and became engaged in a gun battle with the shooter.

“Both of these contributions from ADS are a wonderful example of public/private partnerships in our community and we are grateful to ADS for their generosity and their willingness to support law enforcement and the city of Aurora,” Ziman adds.

The throwable robot, a scouting and surveillance tool for law enforcement and military personnel, provides situational awareness in unknown and potentially dangerous environments. The device was demonstrated in an event at ADS’ headquarters in Aurora on July 10.

“Having a brother in the Aurora Police Department makes the ongoing issue of safer response particularly close to home. We are proud to be part of a solution,” John Spooner, an ADS executive, emphasizes.

“As a community-based business with more than 50 years of history in Aurora, it was the company’s honor to donate to the police department,” ADS Owner Bob Bonifas says.

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