Fort Worth PD gets new high-tech tool for SWAT standoffs

Image 1 of 7

There's a new high tech crime-fighting tool in Fort Worth. It is the first of its kind in the state.

It's an armored machine designed to move SWAT officers into precarious places and keep them safe at the same time.

The SWAT demonstration showed a glimpse of how officers will likely use the new moving armored platform they call “The Rook.”

"The main advantage of this device is to keep my officers safe, especially in a dangerous situation where shots are being fired,” said Fort Worth Police Lt. Todd Plowman.

Fort Worth officers have been training with the department's newest tool for more than a month. The armored machine with its hydraulic rams and other crime-fighting features is the first in Texas and one of only 35 across the country.

“We can move up closer to the structure,” Plowman explained. “We're able to breach a door, break a glass or open up the side of a house or building."

SWAT officers routinely brave dangerous stand-offs with armed suspects. With the rook, police say they'll be able diffuse situations faster with more protection.

Officers have taken the high tech machine to one actual SWAT call-out, but the incident was resolved before it was deployed. They also point out that it serves multi purposes.

"If we have a natural disaster or something and we had to move debris trees broken buildings or cars out of the way in a natural disaster, it can always be used for stuff like that too,” Plowman said.